Koh Samui has witnessed significant investment events over the past 15+ years, marking its evolution as a prime destination for tourism and real estate. These investments have ranged from infrastructural developments, such as new hotels and airport expansions, to strategic partnerships aimed at boosting accessibility and luxury offerings on the island. This timeline captures the major milestones that have shaped Koh Samui’s investment landscape and highlight why you should speak Horizon Homes about investment opportunities.

Timeline of Major Investment Events in Koh Samui



  1. February 16, 2008: Suratthani Deputy Governor Thawatchai Toetphaothai announced the revival of the Koh Phangan airport project, previously suspended. This was in response to rising airfares by Bangkok Airways, threatening tourism on Koh Samui and nearby islands. The new airport on Koh Phangan, 15 km from Koh Samui, aims to provide an alternative route for tourists with a 25-minute speed boat transfer from Samui. A November 13 meeting with various departments addressed the airfare issues. Thawatchai supported other airlines applying to land in Suratthani, which sees flights from Thai Airways, Air Asia, and Orient Thai One Two Go. The province also works with speed-boat operators for passenger transfers between Suratthani airport and the islands.
  2. December 15, 2009: 3rd Asia and Middle East Dialogue (AMED III) in Bangkok under the theme “Strengthening Cooperation towards Common Prosperity”. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva presided over the opening ceremony, with delegations from 36 countries participating. This meeting highlighted the importance of economic and political cooperation between Asia and the Middle East.
  3. January 1, 2010: Suvarnabhumi Airport Development: Thailand’s new airport at Suvarnabhumi significantly enhanced connectivity to Koh Samui, promoting increased tourist inflows and boosting local businesses. The airport’s development was part of a larger strategy to position Thailand as a central hub in Southeast Asia.
  4. July 12, 2010: The Koh Samui Country Club (KSCC) was unveiled, offering deluxe tropical living with stunning views, luxury accommodations, and a range of leisure amenities. Developed by the Beach Republic Group, KSCC set a new standard for upscale yet casual living on the island.
  5. February 10, 2011: Bangkok Airways Fare Reduction: Bangkok Airways reduced the price of fares by up to 30%, making travel to Koh Samui more affordable and accessible. This strategic move resulted in a noticeable increase in tourism, helping to bolster the local economy.
  6. August 17, 2011: Akatsuki Resort opened on the scenic western coast of Koh Samui, offering a unique combination of 5-star facilities and the exclusivity of a private home. Tucked away on Lipa Noi Beach, the resort accommodates group bookings for up to 17 guests and features luxurious amenities including 4 pools, an onsite spa, and a personal chef. Designed by Tokyo-based architect Riccardo Tossani, the resort integrates the philosophy of “living with nature” and uses natural materials and ventilation. Akatsuki has been praised by Condé Nast Traveller for its stylish design and exceptional privacy.
  7. March 15, 2012: W Hotel Launch: The opening of the new W Hotel in Koh Samui brought a significant boost to the island’s luxury accommodation sector, attracting high-end tourists and setting a new standard for hospitality. This development marked a milestone in Koh Samui’s transformation into a luxury destination.
  8. April 5, 2012: Miss Thailand Event in Koh Samui: Miss Thailand event held in Koh Samui showcased the island’s beauty and cultural richness, attracting media attention and boosting tourism. The event featured 30 contestants and was covered by 20 media outlets, highlighting Koh Samui’s potential as a prime tourist destination.


  1. July 21, 2013: New Hotel Openings: The hospitality industry saw substantial investment with the opening of high-end hotels, attracting more international tourists and boosting the local economy. Notable new hotels included properties by Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton.
  2. August 1, 2014: Infrastructure Improvements: The government invested $100 million in upgrading roads and transportation facilities on the island, making it easier for tourists and residents to navigate. These improvements were essential for supporting the growing number of visitors to Koh Samui.
  3. October 30, 2015: Real Estate Boom: Koh Samui’s real estate market saw a surge in villa constructions, catering to high-net-worth individuals seeking exclusive properties. Over 100 luxury villas were constructed, with significant investments in the sector, reflecting strong demand for premium real estate.
  4. November 5, 2015: Thai Airways and Air France Partnership: Thai Airways and Air France expanded their partnership, increasing flight options to Koh Samui and enhancing connectivity for international travelers. This partnership facilitated easier travel for tourists from Europe.


  1. May 25, 2016: Tourism Marketing Campaigns: Enhanced marketing campaigns by tourism boards promoted Koh Samui as a luxury destination, resulting in a 15% increase in tourist arrivals and greater visibility on the global stage. These campaigns targeted high-income travelers from Europe and Asia.
  2. June 14, 2017: Eco-friendly Resorts Expansion: The expansion of eco-friendly resorts focused on sustainable tourism, attracting environmentally conscious travelers and boosting eco-tourism. Resorts such as Six Senses and Anantara invested over $75 million in eco-friendly developments.
  3. April 4, 2018: Direct Flights Introduction: New direct flights from major cities worldwide increased accessibility, resulting in a 20% surge in international tourist arrivals. Airlines such as Qatar Airways and Emirates added routes to Koh Samui.
  4. May 10, 2018: Development of New Recreational Facilities: New recreational facilities, including golf courses and water parks, were developed to enhance the tourist experience. The investment in these facilities amounted to $50 million, adding new attractions and activities for visitors.


  1. November 3, 2019: Boutique Hotels and Wellness Retreats: The opening of several boutique hotels and wellness retreats diversified accommodation options, catering to a broader range of tourists. Investments in these new establishments totaled $40 million, focusing on providing unique and personalized experiences.
  2. March 16, 2020: Continued Investment Despite Pandemic: Despite the global pandemic, investment continued with the development of private residences and exclusive estates, showcasing confidence in the island’s potential. Developers invested $150 million in high-end residential projects.
  3. January 22, 2021: Remote Work Facilities: Introduction of remote work facilities to cater to digital nomads and long-stay tourists, making Koh Samui a preferred destination for remote workers. These facilities included co-working spaces and long-term stay accommodations.
  4. June 30, 2021: New Cultural Festivals: Introduction of annual cultural festivals to celebrate local traditions, attracting cultural tourists and enhancing the island’s cultural appeal. These festivals provided a platform for showcasing Koh Samui’s rich cultural heritage and drew in over 10,000 visitors annually.


  1. July 15, 2022: Koh Samui Airport Upgrades: Major upgrades to Koh Samui Airport were completed, handling increased passenger traffic and enhancing the overall travel experience. The $200 million upgrades included expanded terminals and improved facilities.
  2. August 14, 2023: Public Hearings for Koh Samui-Mainland bridge Begin: The Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) has initiated public hearings to discuss potential routes for a highway that would connect Koh Samui island to the mainland.
  3. September 8, 2023: Beachfront Properties Launch: New beachfront properties offering luxury and privacy were launched, attracting affluent buyers and tourists. The investment in these properties totaled $100 million, providing exclusive and high-end accommodation options.
  4. March 29, 2024: International Events and Conferences: Koh Samui hosted significant international events and conferences, positioning itself as a business and leisure hub. These events drew significant international attention and boosted local businesses.
  5. May, 22, 2024: Koh Samui’s new cruise terminal project: The project, which is planned for Samui island in Surat Thai province, is expected to bring in total revenue of 8.5 billion baht. At least three private investors, including two domestic firms and a shipping line operator from Japan, have shown interest in the project. The project is estimated to be launched by 2031, with construction set to begin in 2029.

Key Reasons to Invest in Koh Samui

  1. Strategic Location: Enhanced connectivity with new direct flights and improved airport facilities.
  2. Luxury Market Growth: Increasing demand for high-end resorts and private villas.
  3. Sustainable Development: Focus on eco-friendly and sustainable tourism projects.
  4. Economic Resilience: Continued investments despite global economic challenges, showcasing confidence in the region’s potential.
  5. Diversified Tourism: Broadening the appeal with boutique hotels, wellness retreats, and facilities for digital nomads.

Koh Samui’s consistent development and strategic investments over the past 15 years underscore its potential as a premier destination for both tourists and investors. The island’s commitment to enhancing infrastructure, expanding luxury offerings, and promoting sustainable tourism ensures a promising outlook for future investments.