RevPAR soars 24% in Thailand’s Koh Samui

KOH SAMUI, THAILAND A sharp upswing in visitor arrivals to the resort island of Koh Samui has translated into a US$25.5 million increase in hotel room revenue in the first six months of this year compared to the first half of 2009, according to consulting firm C9 Hotelworks.

C9 research shows a recovery in international visitors to Koh Samui is fueled by international flight capacity rising 67% from 2009. Tourist arrivals have increased 8% during the same period since 2008. Wholesale gains made from 2009 are due in part to weak demand in the early part of that year.

RevPAR has soared 24% over the same period last year, driven by a moderate occupancy increment of 5% and a substantial increase in room rates of 13%.

“The first half of 2010 suggests that a sustainable recovery for Samui tourism has begun despite the Bangkok political events in the final months of the period,” says C9 Managing Director Bill Barnett. “Growth from regional markets signaled potential change in the island’s tourism profile with a strong Thai baht coupled with weak British pound and euro slowing the rebound for the traditionally strong long-haul visitor sector.”

Koh Samui is slated to add 205 guestrooms in the luxury segment in the second half of the year, more than doubling the luxury inventory in the resort. Banyan Tree, Conrad and W are among the luxury brands that have opened recently there.