SURAT THANI: The four-day weekend has attracted a large number of tourists to the province’s three main resort islands – Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao – and mainland attractions, and put a reported 220 million baht into local circulation.
Of the total spending, 120 million baht was by tourists on Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao islands, and about 100 million baht on the mainland.
Koh Samui alone received about 17,000 tourists – an estimated 80% of them from Bangkok and other provinces, and 20% foreigners and local people on home visits or business trips.
On Saturday and Sunday, there were about 4,000 daily arrivals on Koh Samui by ferry and 1,400 by air.
Koh Tao received 1,200-1,400 per day.
Supakan Yodchun, director of the Samui office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), attributed the rise in visitors during the holiday to the government’s tourism promotion programme, which enabled tourists to register via website for discounts at hotels and restaurants.
Nanthawan Siripokphat, director of TAT’s Surat Thani office, said popular attractions on the mainland included Ratchaprapa Dam reservoir in Ban Takhun district, Khao Sok National Park in Phanom district and Khlong Nam Sai.
Provincial governor Wichwut Jinto said the tourism sector had been given new life. All businesses were ready to welcome visitors in new-normal style, he said.