‘Sandbox’ to draw 600,000
B15bn touted for first 3 months
The Phuket reopening planned for July 1 is expected to draw more than 600,000 foreign and local tourists to the resort island and generate a cash flow of about 15 billion baht in the next three months, tourist authorities say.
Phuket governor Narong Woonciew said yesterday the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) predicted about 129,000 foreign tourist arrivals and 500,000 Thais will visit Phuket between July and September.
The Phuket plan will kick-start the government’s hopes to reopen the country in 120 days, or in October.
From July 1, Phuket will waive quarantine requirements for foreign tourists who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 under the “Phuket Tourism Sandbox” model.
The model is being touted as a model for the reopening of the tourism industry.
However, as a precaution, tourists will have to remain on the island for 14 days before they are allowed to travel to other destinations in the country.
Mr Narong said that all parties are speeding up preparations to ensure the reopening proceeds smoothly as planned.
“We want to see a smooth reopening,” Mr Narong said.
“Our main goal is to be able to revive the local economy and prevent the spread of the pandemic at the same time. We hope we can show people in Phuket and in other parts of the country what benefit they will gain from the reopening.”
He stressed that strict disease control measures must remain in place so that the province would not be put in a lockdown again.
Under the Phuket Sandbox model, foreign arrivals must come from countries where the Covid-19 situation is under control or the number of infections is moderate or low.
They should also have had both vaccine doses at least 14 days before travelling to Thailand and the vaccine they received must be authorised by the World Health Organization.
They should also have a Covid-free certificate issued within…