Phuket’s land area of 576 square kilometers is just 10% of Bali’s 5,780 square kilometers. Yet Phuket’s 12 million total arrivals is greater than Bali’s 10 million total arrivals for 2013.
Encroachment on Phuket public land is symptomatic of a lack of developable land. No surprise resort developers are seeking new pasture.
As prime oceanfront hotel sites become more scarce, developers are headed over the Sarasin Bridge into Phang Nga.
Mai Khao Dream Hotels and Resorts group are reportedly planning a 400-key property in Ko Pilai/Natai Beach north of the Aleenta.
The site was formerly set to be a upscale boutique hotel under the European brand Kameha, but was derailed during the global financial crisis.
Currently the Mai Khao Group operate hotels in Mai Khao Phuket and also on Natai Beach. The former property is undergoing an expansion of rooms.
Late last year Thai property developer Charn Issara made public plans for a mixed-use resort residential and hotel project in Ko Pila, south of the Aleenta.
Two projects that remain on hold is Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li’s massive destination resort at Thai Muang and the Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Bo Dan.
Natai Beach with the posh ultra luxury private villa resort Iniala made international headlines a few months ago when American reality stars The Kardashians filmed at the property.