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Samui tourism unaffected

While the ongoing political turmoil has certainly had a negative impact on the Bangkok hotel market, Koh Samui has witnessed only a minimal impact, according to new research by JLL's Hotels and Hospitality Group.

The company said the island's hotel market had continued to enjoy strong occupancies.

"Koh Samui's hotel market has remained relatively robust, compared to Bangkok where the demonstrations have been concentrated," said Andrew Langdon, JLL's executive vice president.

"The average hotel occupancy rate in Samui reached a record 73 per cent last year, growing by around 5 per cent over 2012."

The growing prominence of Surat Thani Airport as a secondary gateway to Samui, in addition to the existing airport, has helped fuel demand for hotels on the island.

Visitor arrivals to Samui Airport in 2013 grew 14.5 per cent over 2012 to 1.5 million.

However, the average length of stay on the island has been declining as a result of the growing prominence of short-stay visitors from the region.

The average daily rate (ADR) recorded sub-par growth of 1 per cent in 2013 to Bt3,940, after declining from 2008 through 2012.

Largely driven by strong occupancy, the Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) grew 8.9 per cent to Bt2,870 last year.

Presently, there are about 20,000 hotel rooms in Samui.

However, the supply pipeline on the island is slowing over the next three years and is largely concentrated in the mid- to upscale segments. With strong trading performances, Koh Samui is a hotel market that investors keep an eye on.

However, there are limited investments in Grade hotels.

Last year, there was only one hotel sold. Buddy Oriental Samui Beach Resort, a four-star 133-key hotel was sold by JLL.

Currently, Bhundari Spa Resort & Villas in Koh Samui is on sale and is being marketed by JLL.

The 126-key hotel is offered for sale by tender and has received strong interest from investors.

"While the major source of demand for hotels on Koh Samui is tourists from Europe, we anticipate continued emergence of short-stay demand from key Asian source markets," Langdon said.

"In addition, the China, Russia and India visitor markets are likely to be the strongest growth markets in the medium term.

"With healthy demand fundamentals and slow growth of new supply, we anticipate a positive occupancy outlook for 2014 with a moderate increase in ADR."


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