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Should Koh Phangan focus on domestic tourism for the near future?

17 Jun 2020

The Royal Thai Government authorized today a 22.4 billion Baht Domestic Tourism Stimulus Plan, introduced by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Finance as part of efforts to reduce the impacts of the 2020 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak and promote recovery in the tourism and travel market,

Koh Phangan Tourism Industry may be well advised to also focus its efforts on this.

Koh Phangan is primarily focused on international tourism. At the same time, the domestic industry favors places like Hua Hin, Koh Chang, and other travel destinations and are usually opposed to Koh Phangan, the island of the full moon Party.

However, the Full Moon Party doesn't appear to happen anytime soon as the Covid-19 pandemic regulations don't allow big parties. Still, Koh Phangan has various activities and experiences to offer these days, such as yoga classes, meditation centers, and other wellness activities, diving in the island's northern region, kite surfing, luxury tourism in Thong Nai Pan, and more.

Yoga class - Koh Phangan, Thailand.
Yoga class - Koh Phangan, Thailand.

As long as international flights don't run fully with minimum restrictions, it may be difficult for the Koh Phangan's tourism market to fully recover, building a strong campaign and branding can help the local industry to offset its losses.

Between 1 July – 31 October 2020, the project is projected to promote two million domestic trips and help generate revenue for lodging facilities, airlines, travel operators, restaurants, and related businesses.

The Rao Pai Thiao Kan kit is allocated 18 billion Baht to finance accommodation and restaurant subsidies at destinations across the country. Twenty-four thousand seven hundred lodging facilities and 36,755 restaurants and associated enterprises would profit from the program.

The budget will cover a minimum of five million nights of lodging, as travelers would be liable for 60 percent of room prices. The support would offset the remaining 40 percent, which would be restricted to up to five days at 3,000 Baht a week.

 Discounts for Food and attractions are to be set at 600 Baht a night for up to five nights. Domestic visitors will pay 60% of the real costs for these projects, and the aid would fund the remaining 40%.

For Thiao Pan Suk, another two million Baht is to finance vouchers for two million air tickets intended to encourage two million domestic trips. The incentive would cover 40 percent of domestic flight tariffs but would be restricted to 1,000 Baht per visitor. To order to be considered for a flight subsidy, visitors must book lodging establishments under the Rao Pai Thiao Kan kit.

To Kamlangjai, the remaining 2.4 million Baht is to finance domestic holiday travel to 1.2 million health workers and sub-district hospital authorities. For a journey of at least two days and one night, they will use the services of tour companies for the subsidy that is restricted to 2000 Baht per visitor. This subsidy is expected to assist 13,000 tour businesses and generate Baht 6.5 billion for the local economy.