New Thai island resort eyes Scandinavian tourists

Fisherman-turn-resort owner in Prachuap Khiri Khan, the gateway province to southern Thailand, is in the midst of building his second resort on Koh Talu island, aimed at drawing high-end Scandinavian and northern European clients.
     Preeda Charoenpak told Thai newspaper, The Nation, that his new 40-room, Thai-style resort was currently under construction on Sai Yai Bay adjacent to Muk Bay which situates Koh Talu Resort, his first resort on the small island dotted with coconut trees and surrounded by colourful coral and rare fish as well as shellfish.
     He said this expansion was expected to complement the successful first resort, which is fully booked for most of the year.
     “There are 10,000 tourists (each year) who visit the island, and their numbers grow 100 percent every year. Everybody who wants to go to the island has to reserve our package tour. Walk-in guests would be disappointed. Booking is almost 100 percent full throughout the year,” said the owner of the resort and the island.
     With the new Bt50 million resort, Preeda hopes to capture a portion of the money spent by Scandinavian and northern European while they vacation in Thailand.
     Swedes, Norwegians, Danes and the Dutch spend on average Bt5,000 each per day while in Thailand, he said, adding that each tourist brings on average Bt150,000 for expenses.
     The resort owner, who roots from a fishing and shrimp farming family, bought the 1,000-rai island piece by piece from 18 families until he owned it outright in 1979 and started his first resort on the island with an initial investment of Bt3 million in 1996.

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