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Chinese airlift drives Krabi airport tourist arrivals

PHUKET: Phuket’s sister Andaman tourism province of Krabi, across Phang Nga Bay, has enjoyed a high-velocity growth spurt that has seen airport passenger arrivals multiply by 5.4 times over the past decade, which has further accelerated during the past five years by a 33% compound annual growth rate, reports expert hospitality consultancy C9 Hotelworks.

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By The Phuket News

Wednesday 24 May 2017, 09:52AM


From a mere 376,000 who arrived at the airport 10 years ago, last year the number exceeded 2 million, says C9 Hotelworks newly released report, “Krabi Hotel Market Update”.

Connectivity certainly remains a factor, though 27% of total flights landing at the destination came from Greater China, pointed out C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett.

The offshoot of the boom resulted in tourism receipts to Krabi totaling an estimated B84 billion last year, and has more than doubled since 2016, he noted.

“Despite China sitting in a starring role, Scandinavia and Russia both registered double-digit arrival growth for 2016,” said Mr Barnett.

“With mounting airport traffic a plan is underway to upgrade the two existing terminal buildings at Krabi International Airport as well as construct a third together with extending aircraft parking slots,” he added.

Despite mounting rate pressure on hotels across most of Southeast Asia’s resort markets, STR’s Area Director Jesper Palmqvist noted that, “Krabi hotels’ average rate growth in the first quarter of 2017 spiked up by nearly 3%, off-setting a 5% increase in new supply. Demonstrated demand is clearly stimulating higher rates.”

Looking across the bay and comparing the trading story to mainstream Phuket, Krabi’s broad international standard hotel market for FY2016 outperformed that of Phuket in terms of market-wide ADR, which raised the overall RevPAR for the Province, according to STR.

The report also indicates that registered accommodation establishments in Krabi at year-end of 2016 totalled 502 properties with 19,905 keys.

“Non-registered accommodation continues to represent a considerable portion of inventory in the market, though Thailand’s government is becoming increasingly active in enforcing hotel licenses,” Mr Barnett noted.

As to whether Krabi’s all important supply and demand fundamentals remain balanced, Mr Barnett forecasts “a total of 598 new keys are anticipated to enter the hotel market throughout 2017, with 160 keys already introduced in Q1 of this year.

“The numbers speak for themselves and bode well when stepping back and seeing how the last five years have established a strong platform for continued success.”

 

To download and read the full report, click here.

 

 

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