Koh Lanta hoteliers and the Tourism Authority of Thailand
(TAT) will be using the upcoming ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) as a springboard
to launch a campaign to raise global awareness of the island.
Koh Lanta, in Krabi Province, was left relatively
unscathed by the tsunami but Pimalai Resort and Spa general manager, Frank
Lestapis, said occupancy for the current high season has plummeted by 90
percent in many hotels. “We have lost more than 2,500 room nights from the
end of December through February,” he said.
To salvage the rest of the year, hoteliers will be
offering agents packages with bonus nights and other perks, and the TAT will
be making a special effort to market the destination at ATF, ITB and road
shows throughout 2005.
Lestapis said many of the island’s 170 hotel operators,
accounting for more than 3,300 rooms, would be participating in the
“If we can turn this crisis into an opportunity, Koh
Lanta may emerge with the level of global awareness enjoyed by other islands
such as Koh Phi Phi and Koh Chang,” he said.