Samui Hotels Hold Room Rates
Tourism authorities expect 70,000 visitors to Koh Samui from Hong Kong and China this year and believe the market has good potential for growth. THANARAK KHUNTON
The Tourism Association of Koh Samui (TAKS) forecasts the average hotel room rate on the island will remain stable until 2017 due to fierce competition and supply from illegal accommodation.
Rates have increased by 5% since last year, president Seni Puwasetthavorn said.
Many hotels must propose their contract rates for 2016-17 to clients by year-end.
“Room rates will not increase, but many hotels will offer special discounts to maintain clients,” Mr Seni said.
He said the number of illegal rooms on Koh Samui had doubled to 5,000 this year.
They include serviced apartments, weekend houses owned by foreigners, hotels and resorts.
C9 Hotelworks research shows 766 hotel rooms are under construction on the island, with 185 entering the market next year and the rest in 2017.
By 2018, Koh Samui will have 18,749 rooms at registered establishments, up by 4% from this year.
“The problem is worsening this year because weekend houses are playing with low prices,” Mr Seni said.
“They’re focusing on long-stay guests who pay 10 times less than the price of staying in hotels or resorts for more than a month.”
Mr Seni expects tourist arrivals on Koh Samui will grow by 10% to 1.6 million this year, while the average hotel occupancy rate will fall 15 percentage points to 50%.
Hotels with strong sales and marketing networks can run at 70-80% occupancy this year.
Hoteliers are concerned about advance bookings for the New Year holiday.
Only half the rooms have been reserved when they are usually fully booked by now.
“Many rooms remain available,” Mr Seni said.
“Tourists have changed their behaviour and now like to book at the last minute.”
He hopes Koh Samui airport, which has completed its expansion, will draw more tourists to the island.
Its capacity has risen to 50 flights a day from 34.
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Source: Bangkok Post – 20 October 2015