The Southern Thailand province of Surat Thani – home to Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao – is set to see a money-making surge of travellers during next week’s 5-day holiday. The Surat Thani office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand is estimating over 70,000 visitors generating about 833 million baht in tourism revenue for the province.
The long holiday is a lucky break for tourism with Asanha Bucha Day (a holiday celebrating the Buddha’s first sermon) falling on a Wednesday, followed by Buddhist Lent Day on Thursday, triggering an easy-to-skip Friday and then the weekend – 5 days for a getaway in Thailand.
Add to that, the world-famous Full Moon Party on Haad Rin Beach in Koh Phangan, which restarted in November after a nearly 2-year break due to Covid-19, will take place on Friday, July 15, bringing throngs of young party tourists to the island. The TAT says hotels in Surat are just about 51% full, with an average stay of 3.89 nights, but at Full Moon Party, accommodations are 87% full according to Booking.com.
A similar rush came in April when Full Moon Party fell directly after the Songkran holiday and Surat Thani once again saw huge throngs of tourists flock to the islands.
(This has created confusion next month when the party was planned and advertised on August 13, but the Queen Mother’s Birthday holiday on the 12th is NOT a Buddha Day and drinking is permitted. Locals will likely make the Full Moon Party a 2-day event in August due to the mix-up.)
This weekend, the TAT office says 74,182 travellers are booked already, with over 46,000 Thais and nearly 28,000 foreign tourists travelling to the province during the holidays. But, perhaps similar to the recent controversy over dual pricing hotels for locals and foreigners in Thailand, the TAT predicts revenue of 330.16 million baht from Thai tourists and 503.02 million baht from foreign tourists. They calculate 3,121 baht per day in spending per Thai person and 3,700 baht per foreigner.
Aside from Full Moon Party, many will escape to relaxed Koh Tao, well-known for its fantastic scuba diving, as well as sun-drenched beach holidays on Koh Samui. Airlines are beefing up flights as well with 19 to 24 daily flights scheduled from Bangkok to Koh Samui Airport and another 41 to 52 flights per day from Bangkok to nearby Surat Thani Airport.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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