SURAT THANI - Tourism on Koh Samui, a resort island in the southern province of Surat Thani, has returned to its pre-coronavirus level in 2019, as indicated by the surge in both flight numbers and tourist arrivals during July, provincial governor Wichawut Jinto said on Thursday.
According to an air traffic report from the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) Company, Koh Samui airport secured the third spot for flight volume among regional airports in July.
Throughout the month, Phuket airport logged 7,264 flights, followed by Chiang Mai airport with 4,487 flights. Koh Samui airport registered 2,268 flights, averaging 74 flights per day, carrying a total of 141,454 passengers to and from the island, known for its white beaches, luxurious resorts and Full Moon parties.
During the same period, Surat Thani airport catered to 754 flights, accommodating 114,404 passengers.
Surat Thani and Koh Samui airports tallied up to 3,022 flights, serving a total of 255,858 passengers during July.
These figures indicate a resurgence in Surat Thani's tourism prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, according to Mr Wichawut.
The governor said there are not enough flights to take tourists to Koh Samui at this time. The number of flights should go up to 100 per day, adding that in August the number of tourists visiting the island has reached 171,834, he said.
The governor said Surat Thani has a high potential in tourism, with its two airports (Surat Thani and Koh Samui), abundance of tourist land and sea attractions, inexpensive lodgings, richness of sea food and hospitality of the local people.
Domestic tourism in Thailand has bounced back 93% compared to 2019, the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).