Koh Samui has been quietly going about it’s hotel business with high-end property openings that are driving occupancies and rates higher and establishing the destination resort island as a bright spot on the horizon.
“New direct overseas flights from key regional hubs in Singapore , Malaysia and China are aiding rather than abetting the cause, with total international passenger arrivals from 2007 – 2011 increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7 per cent,” said C9’s Managing Director Bill Barnett.
“Growth in luxury and upscale properties is spurring the cyclical pattern of volume and average rates forward. Be it induced demand or a reaction to overcrowding in Asia’s key leisure destinations, the storyboard is etching a niche into the market,” he said
The report reflects a changing profile of visitors with China, Korea and Japan accounting for 63 per cent of total Asian hotel guests. Germany remained the top overall source with 14 per cent, from a list that includes the UK with 8 per cent followed closely by Australia just one percentage point down on that.
The demographics showed that the island’s reliance on international travellers will rise in the next 5 years.
InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam is the latest luxury resort joining the island’s brand parade.
“Looking inside the numbers, the lack of a low-cost airline service to Koh Samui has restrained local demand, unlike other Thailand destinations such as Phuket. This can be seen as a hindrance in terms of volume but in terms of attracting travelers with high disposable income and limiting the impact of the island’s strained infrastructure it is a positive development,” Barnett added.
The research showed that at the end of last year there were 448 hotels with 17,204 rooms in Samui. Viewing the development pipeline for the next few years there will only be a 3 per cent rise in supply with 513 new rooms coming into inventory.