With the number of visitors during the recent high season (July/Aug) having been equivalent to before COVID in 2019, Koh Samui’s tourism industry has made a remarkable recovery from the pandemic. According to the president of the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association, Mr. Phoonsawas, the number of tourists visiting Koh Samui is expected to be around 2.2-2.3 million this year, which is similar to the number of tourists in 2019 before Covid. As before the pandemic, the majority of tourists visiting Koh Samui are from Germany, France, Israel, Australia and the UK.
There has been however a decrease in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Koh Samui due to economic problems within China and difficulties in obtaining visas. Visa-free travel for Chinese visitors recently introduced by the Thai government for travel until 29 February 2024 is not expected to increase the number of Chinese tourists on the island as Chinese tourists tend to travel to places that can accommodate a large number of tourists. Chinese visitors to Ko Samui are mostly FIT (flexible independent travel) travelers.