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Suvarnabhumi » Koh Samui tour operators protest sharp rise in airfares by Bangkok Airways

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

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Claiming over US$5 million in losses in just one month, tour operators in Thailand’s popular southern resort of Koh Samui (Samui Island) are urging Transport Minister Admiral Thira Haocharoen to find ways to reduce airfares raised by Bangkok Airways recently.

Threatening that Koh Samui residents and tour businesses will take drastic action, closing the island’s airport, if their request is ignored, Seni Puvasettavorn, president of the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association, said tour operators and islanders have been hit hard by Bangkok Airways recent increase of its airfare by 20 per cent.

The October 29 action caused the price for return tickets for economy class flights from Bangkok to the island to rise to Bt10,170 (US$277), and Mr. Seni says the island has lost over US$5 million in just one month.

Because of the sharp increase in air ticket costs, tourists have switched to other tourism destinations,  Mr. Seni said.

Since the Bangkok Airways tariff increase, tourism in Koh Samui and the islands of Koh Pa-ngan and Koh Tao have already suffered losses of more than Bt200 million (US$5.5 million), he charged. (Travel News)

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