Koh Chang hotel bookings reached 90%



Koh Chang hotel bookings reached 90%

Covid travel easing dampens good news for Trat, as Surat Thani braces for November 1

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

TRAT: Holidaymakers are flocking to Koh Chang as Covid travel restrictions relax, with hotel bookings for next week’s long weekend reaching 90% on the island and its neighbors Koh Mak and Koh Kut.

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

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

3 and 4-star hotels in Koh Chang, Koh Mak and Koh Kut are reporting more than 90% advance room reservations for the three-day vacation next week from October 22 to 24, Satkhasit said.

“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 country’s reopening, Koh Chang is ready for anything under the Thai Safety and Health Administration (SHA) or SHA Plus.”

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

On the nearby town of Koh Kut, more than 500 tourists visited on weekends, compared to 100-200 visitors per day on weekdays. Two ferry companies have increased their services to two trips per day, Satkhasit said.

Excitement is also building in Surat Thani, where Koh Samui and other neighboring islands are looking for an increase in hotel bookings in anticipation of a wider tourist reopening slated for November 1.

More than 1,000 reservations have been made since Thursday, when the government confirmed its intention to reopen to international travelers vaccinated on November 1, as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced earlier.

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

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

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


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