On February 10th, 2024, Mr. Wiwat Chuenban, the Chairman of the Surat Thani Provincial Tourism Industry Council, publicly revealed an increasing number of foreign and Thai tourists visiting Koh Samui in January and February 2024.
After a visa exemption for Chinese tourists, there were four direct flights from Chengdu, China, to Surat Thani in one week. There was also a direct flight route from Taiwan to Surat Thani as well, resulting in a surging number of bookings of more than 672 hotels, and 25,000 rooms were reserved, according to Wiwat.
The direct flight from Taiwan, the third tourist charter flight, had 188 tourists visit popular tourist attractions such as Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao during the Chinese New Year Celebration. It greatly stimulated the Surat Thani tourism economy, said Wiwat.
Wiwat remarked that in early 2024, there were 47 international cruise ships who reserved their tour programs at Koh Samui. There were 10 international cruise ships in February with an estimated number of tourists of 18,486, generating income of more than 45 million baht.