Krabi report: A look back to look forward

PHUKET, 8 June 2021: Comparing major Southern Thai resort destinations, Krabi successfully attracted the domestic market since the Covid-19 pandemic halted international travel to Thailand in early 2020.

Krabi’s resilience comes to the surface in the latest Krabi Hotel Market Update published by well-known tourism consultancy C9 Hotelworks.

In the preamble to the report, C9 Hotelworks CEO Bill Barnett says the data looking back at pre-Covid trading suggests hoteliers can be optimistic tourism will upcycle towards recovery while the report identifies the trends hoteliers will encounter on the way.

“During the domestic-led past year, it has been interesting to see how the destination with its resort-centric, nature-based attractions has fared well in comparison to other resort areas in the South of the country.

“One thing that is for certain is Krabi is a dynamic fit for post-Covid-19 travel and is likely to tap a strong share of demand as nature becomes the new luxury icon for travel.”

Looking back at March 2020, Krabi Airport handled over 1 million domestic passengers in the 12 months that followed. Outside of Bangkok, the destination had the fifth-highest airport passenger tally in the country.

While hoteliers are looking at the reopening of international markets in October as the second phase of the Sandbox initiative, due to start with Phuket, 1 July, many hoteliers wonder how long is the next cycle back to stabilized trading of the pre-Covid 2019 era?

In the South of Thailand, with Phuket firmly encamped in mass tourism and Samui hampered by airlift limitations,

Krabi is reaching a critical intersection on what market model to pursue.

In contrast to Phuket, Samui or Phang Nga, Krabi had the highest level of domestic guests at accommodation establishments, with Thais accounting for 43% in 2019.

Prior to Covid-19, the destination hosted 4,186,069 guests at accommodation establishments in 2019.

Mainland China was the largest international source market, representing 14%, followed by the European market weighing in with 27% of the share, highlighted by the UK, highly concentrated with unbranded midscale properties.


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