The Thai government is planning to upgrade the image of Koh Phangan from a backpacker party paradise to a diverse and cultural tourism destination.
The Bangkok Post reports that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), backed by the country’s Ministry of Tourism & Sports, has entered into discussions with local tourism operators on how to change the island’s reputation. It wants to get away from the idea that Koh Phangan is purely a place for Full Moon Parties.
“The rebranding of Koh Phangan is proceeding. The half moon and dark moon parties have been called off. We found that there have many interesting activities and tourism sites on the island,” the newspaper quoted Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul as saying.
Under the plans, Koh Phangan will be divided into five zones, covering ‘lifestyle and trends’, nightlife, historic and ecotourism, the lives of fishermen and seafood, and meditation, spa and learning.
All beach parties in Surat Thani province, which includes Koh Phangan, were banned earlier this year, following the murder of two British tourists on neighbouring Koh Tao. The famous Full Moon Parties however, will be allowed to go ahead.