Koh SamuiSport

Samui Open Beach Volleyball Tournament boosts sports tourism

PHOTO: The Samui Open Beach Volleyball Tournament was held successfully this week.

With tourism back in full swing, a variety of diverse events and activities are taking place in tourism hotspots, offering variety to tourists and locals alike. Koh Samui recently hosted a successful volleyball tournament that organisers hope will boost sports tourism to Thailand.

The 5th annual Samui Open Beach Volleyball Tournament took place from March 10 to 12, at the Royal Muang Samui Villas on Choeng Mon Beach in the north of Koh Samui island. Originally conceived by Biggs Island Productions (BIP) in 2016, the event capitalises on growing global interest in beach sports like volleyball.

The bid to bring international sports tourism attention to the holiday island of Koh Samui gained the support of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui (TAKS) and the Koh Samui Municipality Tessaban.

This year’s event highlighted tourism enthusiasm after the pandemic suspended so much travel and so many events like this tournament. About 500 spectators turned up over the three days of the event to enjoy the volleyball matches.

The tournament reached beyond just watching sports as it offered an opening ceremony with a welcome party at Royal Muang Samui Villas, and featured nightly “Appreciation Parties” where players and spectators could let loose. Lost Beach Bar and the Boat Bar Bangrak hosted participants and attendees for cocktails and festivities. A thank you party was held at Pure Beach Club on Choeng Mon Beach as the tournament came to a close.

Some 60 teams participated in the competition, with the 120 top athletes representing 28 countries from Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and Asia. They competed in two-by-two competitions in three categories: men’s, women’s, and mixed play.

Prize money totalling 80,000 baht was rewarded to the winners, along with trophies, medals, sponsor vouchers, volleyball gear, and apparel. Thai athletes represented their home country well, with the local team Orawan/Anchana winning the Women’s 2×2 Division. The Men’s 2×2 Division was won by Grahn/Isaksson from Sweden, while Jiang/Romeni from Singapore won the Mix 2×2 Division.

Samui Open Beach Volleyball Tournament
Samui Open Beach Volleyball Tournament

Tournament Director/Organiser Cord Biggs declared the volleyball event a great success while announcing the 6th annual Samui Open Beach Volleyball Tournament will be held on March 22 to 24, 2024.

“We are proud to promote beach volleyball in Southeast Asia and on Koh Samui and to hold this annual event on our beautiful island. Along with our main sponsors, sincere appreciation is also given to all our island supporters who helped make this event possible.”

Samui Open Beach Volleyball TournamentSamui Open Beach Volleyball Tournament

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.