Satun prepares for top season’s inflow

International vacationers stroll on the seaside at Koh Lipe in Satun. The province welcomed 1.18 million vacationers in the course of the January-to-September interval. (Picture by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Satun province is bracing for an inflow of vacationers this excessive season, as main seaside locations at Tarutao Nationwide Marine Park have reopened for vacationers after a five-month shutdown.

Seashores within the park comparable to Koh Adang, Koh Rawi and different diving spots have been quickly closed from Might 16 to Oct 14 for rehabilitation.

Samart Jaroenrit, president of the Tourism Affiliation of Satun and appearing president of the Tourism Council of Satun, mentioned that in the course of the closure, Koh Lipe, a favorite vacation spot in Satun, remained open as ordinary however vacationers didn’t flock to it as a result of it was the off-season.

“The opening of the nationwide marine park means extra tourism alternatives for operators within the province,” he mentioned.

Mr Samart predicts vacationer arrivals in Koh Lipe to rise 8-10% this excessive season (November 2019 to April 2020) from about 400,000 vacationers a yr in the past.

The occupancy fee for the three,500 rooms in Koh Lipe stood at 70-80% firstly of the excessive season, up from 20% within the off-peak season.

Hoteliers can count on an occupancy fee of over 80% from high quality European vacationers who usually go to the island from January to March, Mr Samart mentioned.

Along with street and air transport from Hat Yai and Trang airports, vacationers can go to Koh Lipe by ferry from Langkawi, Malaysia.

“Final excessive season, there have been 150,000 vacationers from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia who used the Langkawi-Koh Lipe ferry, and the variety of vacationers who journey by ferry will improve by 3% this excessive season,” Mr Samart mentioned.

Panu Woramit, director of the Satun workplace of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, mentioned the province is known for its seasonal seaside locations that rely upon the climate.

“We wish to focus extra on year-round sights on the mainland comparable to academic and journey tourism in Satun Unesco International Geopark and community-based tourism from 30 native communities to achieve constructive tourism momentum,” he mentioned.

Satun Unesco International Geopark is certainly one of 140 geoparks globally and Thailand’s first, designated in April 2018.

“After being listed by Unesco, the variety of guests to the geopark rose by 200% from final yr,” Mr Panu mentioned. “Some 1,000-2,000 vacationers every week journey to see the traditional fossils and revel in rafting.”

Some 70% of vacationers in Satun are Thais, principally from Hat Yai in Songkhla and the three southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala.

For worldwide arrivals, Mr Panu mentioned travellers from Malaysia are the important thing market, adopted by Germany, Britain and Singapore.

“Some 60,000 Malaysian vacationers visited Satun final yr, spending round 4,000 baht per particular person per day,” he mentioned. “This yr, the robust baht and weak ringgit current a problem to the tourism sector, so the variety of vacationers from Malaysia will possible be flat from 2018.”

The occupancy fee this yr will keep the identical as final yr’s at 70%, however the quantity will choose as much as 80% in the course of the excessive season from 162 accommodations in Satun.

Mr Panu expects a rise of 5% this yr from 1.5 million guests the earlier yr, in addition to one other 5% rise in tourism revenue from about 9 billion baht final yr.

Throughout January to September this yr, 1.18 million vacationers visited the province, up 3% year-on-year, producing 7.32 billion baht in spending, up 6%, in response to the Tourism and Sports activities Ministry.

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