Samui needs to change its marketing
SAMUI, 30 July 2012: Samui’s travel industry should focus on quality tourism rather than quantity due to its access limitations, while neigbouring Pha Ngan island could be positioned as a family destination.
That was the view of island’s Tourism Coordination Centre’s director, Saiphayom Somsuk. The centre looks after three islands; Samui, Pha Ngan and Tao.
“Samui’s focus should be on high-end products as there are more five-star chain hotels on the island and also quality spas,” said Ms Saiphayom.
“We are promoting the seven greens project that will encourage tourism businesses on the island to adopt Green Leaf Foundation standards. Those who participate get a mention on the TAT websites and campaigns.”
When asked for an update on new tourism products, she said: “This is one of our problems; Samui doesn’t really have new tourist’s attractions. The most recent addition was spa products and improved restaurants.
Pha Ngan Island has a long term problem due to the monthly full-moon party that turns away family related tourism. The parties attract druggies, alcoholics and binge drinkers.
But, Ms Saiphayom defends efforts to broaden the island’s appeal claiming the full-moon party is only limited to Rin Beach and there are other beaches with around 300 hotels and over 6,000 rooms that are not involved in party activities.
“It’s very difficult to change perceptions of Pha Ngan Island, but it is one of our goal to reposition the island’s image by promoting more family products, while we hope to change the full-moon party to become more fashionable and chic rather than just for excessive drinking,” she explained.
According to the data from the Samui Island Tourism Coordination Centre, Samui generates around Bt40 billion yearly with tourist arrivals just below 1 million.
Currently Samui has 487 hotels and 19,000 rooms, Pha Ngan 304 hotels and 6,284 rooms and Tao 151 hotels and 2,878 rooms.