After The Rain – Samui Gets Back To Business
The resort island of Samui and much of Southern Thailand has received a torrential amount of rain over the past week and photos of flooding have gone viral on a global basis.
I thought I was a good time to check in with a number of hoteliers on the ground and find out how the flooding has affected trading.
On the positive many hotels responded that this January had some of the strongest booking levels in a number of years and demand has been strong, spurred in many ways by rising airlift.
That said, airport services for the most part held up despite many delays and a limited number of cancelled flights. Hence hotels were hit by a string of cancellations from travelers who could not reach the destination while others stayed on and could not leave.
Hoteliers are expecting some drops in booking pace given the broad news stories both here in Thailand and around the world, and occupancy will be hit, though a fairly good recovery is expected. Not many hotels have reported significant damage, but roadways have suffered, new pot holes and inland areas more impacted.
Perhaps the biggest slip for the market will be to see how the Chinese New Year bookings hold up, while some properties are reporting cancellations many tourists are taking a wait and see approach. Given the short lead time, and hard time getting CNY flights, feedback generally is a good portion of the business will hold up.
Probably the hardest hit tourism related businesses were boats going to other islands on daytrips and marine activities including diving. That’s been a major area of downturn. On the flip side spas, retail and restaurant business has been holding.
Expectations are that the effect from the floods of early 2017 could be similar to those in December 2016, but again as hotel booking patterns are shorter; the key remains the ability to get flights.
Some damage to beach areas has been spoken about, mostly debris, soil run-off of the hills and floating items. This is expected to return to normal pretty quick after clean-up efforts which are already underway, take place.
While some rain is expected on the 16th of the month forecasts call for less pronounced weather and as of this writing a number of hotels said the sun was shining again in Samui. Business is back as usual for the most part.