You always hear of a destination’s size in terms of visitor arrivals or number of hotel rooms. Here we attempt to look at destination’s size in terms of physical development footprint and development density.
If you use a common benchmark of a 20km radius from the airport how do these destinations compare against each other and our reference Honolulu? (Note: the red dot is the international airport location, the white circle is the 20km radial extent).
Probably the most developed island resort destination. Look at the fingers reaching up into the hills.
Sanya, Hainan, China
China’s most popular coastal resort destination. Can you foresee it will be even more developed in years to come.
The main beaches at Patong, Karon and Kata are actually beyond 20km from the airport.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui’s 20km airport radius covers the entire island and extends over into the south side of Koh Phangan.
Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Considering that Bali is the most popular island destination in South East Asia it’s still far less developed than Honolulu.
What’s interesting is in 2011 the new airport started operating from this new location further south. Established resorts around Sengigi that were previously within the 20km radius of the old airport are now outside of this new airport radius. The Mandalika project is just at the southern fringe of this 20km radius.
Puerta Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
Penang has been developed over a long period of time and its not surprising to see that it appears as dense as Honolulu. Did you also realize its about the size of Koh Samui?
Just a little bigger than Koh Samui.
Cam Ranh, Vietnam
Looks like the bay provides another 3 to 4 times the water frontage compared to Danang.
Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Location of the new airport that opened in 2013. Phu Quoc is one of the last large islands off continental Asia to be developed and the government plans to make it a tourism destination.
Hambantota, Sri Lanka
Location of the new airport in the south that opened in 2013. Essentially a greenfield location. Do you also realise that, like Lombok’s new airport, Hambantota airport is actually 20km inland? Airports at older destinations are all immediately adjacent to the coastline.
For those locations with the hinterland and the natural resources to enable scaling;
- What’s the capital investment to reach just 50% of Honolulu’s footprint.
- What’s the time frame
- What’s the plan
- Does the country’s economic development authorities have a strategy to drive investments into developing the destination?