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Samui Hotels Push Up Room Rates as Low-Cost Airlines Kept at Bay

Thailand’s resort island of Samui continues to see its tourism sector steadily grow despite standing quietly alone in
a maddening storm of low-cost airlift growth across the country. In 2015 airport passenger arrivals eclipsed the one
million marker and year-on-year growth registered a 7% increase.
But the story doesn’t stop there, as room rates across the Kingdom remained volatile in a year where national
tourism arrivals topped 29 million, Samui market-wide average room rates pushed up 12% compared to 2014.
According to data from C9 Hotelworks newly released Samui Hotel Market Update the domino impact of high rates
pushed up the all important metric of RevPAR (revenue per available room) y-o-y by an impressive 15%.
As Samui’s privately operated airport remains a hotly contested issue amongst tourism stakeholders, the actual
fact is that the muzzling of low-cost airline incursion which in many other Thai destinations has hoteliers struggling
to drive up or any many cases retain rates, for the island in the Gulf of Thailand has been a mixed-blessing.
Commenting on the trend C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett said “the systematic trigger of increasing
the daily flight ceiling imposed by the government from 36 to 50 flights per day has regulated growth and has had
an overall organic positive factor for the market. Hotel supply and demand issues remain favorable and in fact the
increase in flight capacity has dually benefited from Bangkok Airways switching a growing number of flights to
larger Airbus A-319s instead of ATR-72’s which has added overall seat capacity.”
With tourism number surging, Samui’s hotels are seeing a systematic upgrading which this year is being
highlighted by the completion of a US$20 million renovation of the Santiburi Beach Resort and the reopening of the
Amari in Chaweng, which was closed for a substantial make-over. While another Thai hospitality giant the TCC
Group recently announced plans for an upgrade and rebranding of the Imperial Boat House to Spanish hotel chain
Melia under their Sol brand.
One key highlight of C9’s report is the growing significance that international chains are having on performance.
Branded hotels achieved higher market-wide average daily rates (ADR) in 2015 compared to the previous year by
24%. Looking at the incoming pipeline of 14 hotels currently in development in Samui, well known groups such as
Ritz-Carlton, Holiday Inn and ACCOR’s Sofitel figure prominently into the island’s future landscape. Meanwhile the
Samui Airport is in the early stages of study and public hearings over a US$29.2 million expansion plan.
For further information and high-resolution photography, please contact:
Bill Barnett, Managing Director, C9 Hotelworks
Email: bill@c9hotelworks.com
Telephone: +66 (0)8 1956 1802

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