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The hotel operators together with the people of Koh Phangan have come together to create their own tourist zoning areas on the island for existing activities as well as future developments. The island now has five zones. Centre of lifestyle, Full Moon Destination, Heritage & Nature, Into the Sea and Health and Wellness Tourism.
The president of the Koh Phangan Hotels Association said “Although this tourism zoning is jointly designed by local people and our association, we strongly believe that it is good enough to protect the island”.
90% of the 9,000 hotel rooms in Koh Phangan are run by local operators, the only professional hotel chain on the island is the Anantara Rasanda. Average occupancy on the island is around 60%, a figure that rises to 80% around the Full Moon Party.
The hotel association says they want to start a campaign to encourage local residents to protect their land, around 100 volunteers come together during the Full Moon Party to hand those breaking the law over to the police, an example of residents doing just that.
“We don’t want to be like Samaui where more than 70% of the hotel operators are outsiders and foreign investors”, said the president of the hotel association, “we want to protect our land and pass it on to our children” he added.