Koh Chang hotel bookings hit 90%

Koh Chang hotel bookings hit 90%

Easing of Covid travel curbs good news for Trat, while Surat Thani gears up for Nov 1

Vehicles crowd the pier in Laem Ngop district on the Trat mainland for ferry services to Koh Chang on Saturday. (Photo: Jakkrit Waewkraihong)
Vehicles crowd the pier in Laem Ngop district on the Trat mainland for ferry services to Koh Chang on Saturday. (Photo: Jakkrit Waewkraihong)

TRAT: Holidaymakers are flocking to Koh Chang as Covid travel restrictions ease, with hotel reservations for the long weekend next week reaching 90% on the island and neighbouring Koh Mak and Koh Kut.

In Laem Ngop district on the mainland, many cars with tourists queued at Ao Thammachat pier for ferry services to Koh Chang on Saturday.

Satkhasit Mungkarn, chairman of the Trat Tourism Industry Council, said the tourism outlook has been improving gradually since the Centre for Covid-19 Administration eased travel restrictions at the start of this month. More people are visiting Koh Chang, especially on weekends, helping to boost the economy of the province.

Hotels rated 3 and 4 stars on Koh Chang, Koh Mak and Koh Kut, report more than 90% room bookings in advance for the three-day holiday next week from Oct 22-24, said Mr Satkhasit.

“The latest survey shows Koh Chang is on a list of the top 10 tourist destinations in Thailand,” he said. “In the second phase of the reopening of the country, Koh Chang is ready for everything under the Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) or SHA Plus.”

More than 70% of Trat residents have received their first coronavirus vaccine shot and it is expected that more than 70% will have received their second dose by the end of October. “Koh Chang is officially ready to receive tourists,” he said.

On neighbouring Koh Kut, more than 500 tourists visited on weekends, compared with 100-200 visitors a day on weekdays. Two ferry companies have increased services to two trips a day, said Mr Satkhasit.

Enthusiasm is also rising in Surat Thani, where Koh Samui and other nearby islands are seeking a surge in hotel bookings in anticipation of a broader tourism reopening set for Nov 1.

More than 1,000 bookings have been made since Thursday when the government confirmed its plan to reopen to vaccinated international travellers on Nov 1, as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had announced earlier.

Supharoek Thongsuk, president of the provincial tourism industry council, said the sudden surge in bookings was welcome.

Since the Samui Plus tourism reopening programme began on July 15, more than 1,300 tourists have come from Germany, France, Britain, the US, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Hong Kong and Japan, he said. Their visits generated 85.8 million baht in tourism revenue.

Tourists walk off the ferry at the pier on Koh Chang. (Photo: Jakkrit Waewkraihong)

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