A KEY change is taking place in Khao Lak which has now bounced back from 2004’s Boxing Day tsunami with hoteliers and intrepid developers of the fledging property market heading north to Bangsak beach and beyond, Bill Barnett, managing director of C9 Hotelworks said over the weekend.
An in-depth research by this company shows that Phang Nga province’s resort market with Khao Lak being the star attraction is expected to achieve one million guests in 2016. In 2005, a year after the disaster, this total was less than 300,000.
From 2011 to 2015 hotel growth demand in Phang Nga reached 16% CAGR (compound annual growth rate). However Khao Lak’s upscale hotels saw slight year-on-year dips in average daily rate by 1%, occupancy by 3% and this in turn led to RevPAR (revenue per available room) sliding 3%.
Then again hoteliers remain bullish about Khao Lak because four new hotel projects and one major extension are in the pipeline bringing in an additional 1,213 keys. Currently there are 104 registered accommodation establishments in Khao Lak with a total of 7,822 keys.
The four new hotels and major extension include Mai Holiday, Bangsak beach, opening in August this year; Bangsak Merlin Resort, Bangsak beach, opening in December this year; Avani Khao Lak, Bangsak beach, opening in the fourth quarter of 2018; Holiday Inn Resort Khao Lak, Nang Thong beach, opening in October this year; and La Stella, Bang Niang beach, opening in August 2017.
C9 Hotelworks’ research also adds that German-speaking countries continue to be a highly-leveraged source of business while Australia and China are key growth markets.
“European and Australian markets typically stay between seven and 14 days, while Asian guests stay between one and three days.”
The picture is completely different when it comes to residential developments because this lags way behind the hotel market with Mr Barnett mentioning that there are some slow projects in Khao Lak, most noticeably small ones geared for the Scandinavian market located north of Bangsak beach.
“We are starting to see small clusters of houses and villas and things like that so we think it will be emerging soon. It’s kind of on the cusp of being a property market.
“In terms of pricing of residential it’s probably 30-40% cheaper than Phuket.”
It is noteworthy that these small residential developments in Khao Lak are more of a vacation or holiday home variety than structured investment.
“It’s a small market for people who are end-users or who want a part-time house or vacation home.”
By Nanthida Kumari
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