It's another day, another plan from the government to rejuvenate tourism in Thailand, and the latest announced strategy is the reopening of Phuket, the kingdom's most popular tourist destination, freely to tourists who have received COVID-19 inoculations.
Back on March 26, deputy prime minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow revealed that the authorities have currently put heads together over a policy to allow vaccinated travelers to enter the island without having to practice self-quarantine. The plan was set to be in effect from this upcoming July to which the deputy prime minister responded that Phuket can, in Bangkok Post's words, "accommodate quality visitors" as the businesses and people in this coastal province are ready to welcome back visitors.
"Phuket has been recognized by foreign tourists, but local businesses and people have suffered during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr. Supattanapong said. "They have joined forces and offered to be a reopening model for major tourist provinces. There are flights to the province and hotels to attract quality tourists," he added. The deputy prime minister also mentioned that the government had to grant support in making this plan happen.
This brand-new strategy to recover Phuket's tourism followed the previous co-plan by provincial authorities and the local private sector entitled "Phuket Tourism Sandbox" wherein international holiday-makers are allowed to travel there only if they have received the vaccine. Scheduled to take off on July 1 (previously on October 1), the Sandbox plan also looks to depend on the herd immunity after 70% of the population is inoculated, which means at least 466,587 residents in Phuket ought to receive two doses with the first one supposed to roll out on April 15 and the second on May 15 in order to reopen the island within the set date.
All in all, the proposal will be ultimately discussed in the committee meeting led by Prayut Chan-o-cha soon, so stay with us for further news.