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Posted: 23 Aug 2011 | 6:00 am
It's a battle of the brands as Koh Samui goes global.
An influx of international hotel chains to the third largest island in Thailand - Koh Samui - is setting the stage for fierce brand competition.
Well known names in the pipeline include InterContinental, Le Meridien, Conrad, Accor and Moevenpick who will all be intent on luring travelers to the destination by the end of 2011.
According to new data in the Samui Hotel Market Update report, five hotels managed by global operators will enter the existing supply side during the second half of this year. The destination has already experienced a surge in luxury brand penetration with properties operated by Four Seasons, Starwood's W, Banyan Tree, Six Senses and Orient Express.
To view the entire report CLICK
The influx of new hotels and resorts is a dynamic performance indicator.
Leading hospitality brands have been proven to induce demand into a destination and are a strong catalyst for sustainable growth.
A key comparative is luxury retail where upscale shopping malls rely on anchor brands to attract upscale shoppers. Travel and retail track a strikingly similar customer driven model.
The report also shows the island made inroads in the first half of the year, with hotels hitting an overall occupancy of 62%. This could signal that the island is getting back to business.
Airlift continues to be a primary focus as the increasing popularity of the monthly Full Moon Party on nearby Koh Phangan is drawing worldwide attention and is displacing seat capacity required for expansion of the mainstream leisure segment.
A stalemate over the issue of a new airport shows an absolute disconnect between government policy and private sector development ambitions.
We don't fault Bangkok Airways who operate the privately run facility in hampering growth due to its commercial agenda but look at the epidemic problem over the lack of a government managed long term tourism strategy.
The recent media comments by Bangkok Airways founder Prasert Prasarttong-osoth that the airline was studying the possibility of divesting a 30% stake and possibly going into an IPO could pave the way for change on Koh Samui.
A much touted market liberalization under the Asean Economic Community in the next four years and open skies policy in the region are being hailed by travel industry watchers as a positive move.
A column featuring environmental issues and conservation around the island. Click here for more Green Reports check out the latest story from the leading experts:
While John Hardy and his Ubud Green School and Green Village have been at the groundswell of sustainable building materials, the area has sprouted other pioneering initiatives.
While we hope for the best that Phuket's new airport expansion will have some green focus, it's encouraging to view Singapore's Changi as setting a global standard.
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