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Boom times ahead for Khao Lak tourism

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Much larger Phuket suffering “destination fatigue”
The southern Thai resort of Khao Lak is expected to welcome a million arrivals this year, a dramatic transformation for a destination that saw less than 300,000 hotel guests in the year after the 2004 Asian Tsunami, a report from C9 Hotelworks says.
Tourist numbers have risen steadily reaching 962,020 in 2015. Key drivers are rising Chinese and Australian visitors, adding to the European guests that still dominate the market with 80% of arrivals. Other emerging markets include Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.
While Khao Lak’s supply of 104 registered accommodation units with 7,822 keys pales in comparison with neighbouring Phuket’s nearly 50,000 rooms inventory, its strong compounded annual growth rate of 16% over the past five years has attracted hotel developers with 1,213 new rooms coming into the supply pipeline.
C9 Hotelworks’ managing director, Bill Barnett, says Khao Lak has become a year-round market, with strong arrivals in the traditionally lean summer months. He also added that the destination has been able to “attract an increasing number of visitors from nearby Phuket who have destination fatigue”.
He added that although the destination is connected to the wider Greater Phuket infrastructure, including the expanded airport, “in the long-term Phang Nga will have to develop its own gateway airport in order to control its own tourism destiny”.
TTG Asia

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