The expansion of capacity of Bangkok Airlines together with the opening of the second airport in the country, Surat Thani, has been a game changer for the tourism industry of the country. That particularly concerns the second most popular tourist destination in Thailand Samui Island. The average occupancy of the market reached 72% last year.
Previously, Samui was famous exclusively as a seasonal destination, but the latest changes have altered that and travellers mostly from mainland China slowly turn it into a year-round resort. Thanks to Chinese tourists, the traveller volume growth estimated 61% during the first 9 months of 2016. The popularity is unlikely to cease in the nearest future, and the market is distinguished by a healthy supply demand balance. Travellers wait for opening of new hotels with excitement, and the 175 guestroom Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui hotel developed by YTL Group is known as one of the most anticipated hotels that open this year.
Together with increased popularity with Chinese travellers, Samui hotels also slowly shift segments. The destination attracts mostly individual travellers, so the opening of Surat Thani Airport and its slow increase of capacity make Samui more easily accessible. Therefore, more midscale and upscale hotels open on the island as these categories become increasingly popular.
The volume of direct flights to Samui is expected to grow significantly. This is particularly true about Chinese cities, for example, this year flights from Chongqing will be added and flights from Chengdu expanded. When the second phase of the island’s airport upgrade will be finished, its capacity will only increase.