Saturday, 19 January 2013

Koh Samui Hospitality Sector Predicted To Grow Stronger

Hotels like the ShaSa hotel are becoming extremely popular 

Despite the on-going European financial crisis, which has negatively impacted the tourism industry worldwide, the hospitality sector of Koh Samui has done well so far this year, and is predicted to grow even more in the coming years.

“This year saw stronger demand on the resort island during July and August, which have a profound impact on annal trading figures. Expectation is therefore that the overall annual occupancy rate will move up by a few percentage points from the 67-per-cent level achieved in the first half,” says Bill Barnett, the managing director C9 Hotelworks.

He also explains how the island has achieved a fairly equal balance between supply and demand prospects, which in turn counters the issue of an oversupply of accommodations. This is despite the fact that excess inventory has been a commonly mentioned problem by those engaging the tourism industry.

The occupancy rate in Koh Samui increased to an impressive 8%, which denotes three major hotel developments – with a combined total of 371 rooms – coming down the pipeline within a span of two years. This equates to a healthy addition of three percent to island’s supply.

On the other hand, Phuket has an additional 5,000 hotel rooms in the pipeline, thereby causing an eleven percent spike in the resort island’s supply.

Despite Samui’s enhanced tourism performance, the figures don’t spread evenly amongst the different accommodations establishments. Studies conducted by C9 Hotelworks shows that the occupancy rate (during the first half) of upscale hotels was 73 per cent, which is followed closely by mid-scale properties at 69 per cent, while luxury hotels were calculated at 59 percent only.

Ironically, budget hotels had the smallest occupancy rate of all, as research tags it at 53 percent only. Nevertheless, the market-wide occupancy rate encompassing all accommodations types has reached 67 percent, which is eight percent higher than last year, and the highest it’s been since 2008.

While many speculate that local tourism shall increase significantly when (or if) plans for a second airport materialize, others feel that Koh Samui would be better off with just one airport.

"Looking forward, the restrained air traffic may be a blessing in disguise to the island, as restricting mass-tourism growth could enhance its natural appeal," says Barnett. "While the competitive markets of Phuket and Bali are overrun with skyrocketing numbers, Samui's positioning is gradually shifting upward to a niche resort destination."

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