Samui has attracted world-class hotels, but is still lacking solid infrastructure. Image: homedsgn.com Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Poor infrastructure and planning is negatively affecting the long-term prospects of Koh Samui, and Thailand, says a leading tourism market analyst.According to Bill Barnett, managing director of C9 Hotelworks, a Phuket-based consulting firm, the main issue for Samui, and “all of Asia’s resort destinations at present”, was a lack of governmental financial support, The Nation reported.Although Samui is expected to lure more hotel and residential development, private-sector investment was simply not “being matched by government spending on infrastructure”. “Also, Thailand’s resort destinations are no longer simple idyllic destinations but are becoming urbanised, with issues now of population growth, traffic, waste disposal and crime,” he said. “Local government does not have the support for this growth.”Speaking to Samui specifically, Mr Barnett said the Thai island’s tourism potential was being limited by the tight capacity of its airport, which with an annual capacity of just 2 million, could not accommodate broader charter flights and low-cost carriers. Despite the somewhat bleak assessment of Samui’s long-term future, Mr Barnett said that with new investors looking at the island, Samui was “benefiting from positive sentiment in the market”. According to the C9 Hotelworks’s market update, the first half of 2012 saw 455,778 passenger arrivals at Samui Airport, which drove occupancy rates to their highest level since 2008 at 67 percent. Thanks to this growth, revenue per available room (RevPAR) surged 12 per cent over the same period.