The Raja Ferry company announced that they will be raising their rates because fuel prices are currently so high and because there hasn’t been a fare increase in many years. The Raja Ferry’s ferry service from Don Sak pier to Pha Ngan now costs an average car 900 baht, up from 620 baht before July 1. Owners of businesses on Koh Pha Ngan are asking lower ferry fees after they increased by more than 40% since the start of July, which had an effect on their operations and daily living expenses. Other ferries that go to Koh Samui and Koh Tao are available, and their costs have gone up by the same amount. They estimate that Koh Pha Ngan’s occupancy rate could surpass that of the New Year’s holiday this month and approach 60%. On average, hotels on the island would be between 70 and 80 percent full during the event. They assert that recent price increases have been seen in the cost of food, building materials, and transportation. Later this month, the Koh Phangan Hotel and Tourism Association and other Koh Phangan organizations will debate the problems and deliver a petition to the governor of Surat Thani and the Transport Ministry. The Koh Phangan Hotel and Tourism Association’s president, Chantana Limsuwan, asserts that businesses and residents are under pressure from rising rates, particularly now that Thailand has fully opened its doors to international tourists and businesses are keen to bring in as many guests as possible. On the island, the busiest months are usually from the middle of July through the end of August. Those who will be affected want the government to progressively raise the ferry fee in order to help lessen the abrupt impact. Given the rising costs, hotels essentially always turn a profit. Because they want to retain their competitiveness and prevent tourists from visiting less expensive places like Laos, Vietnam, or Bali, they are unable to boost lodging costs. Some of the hotels in Haad Rin are completely booked for the Full Moon Party on July 15.

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