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Hotel blog suggests Phuket should push ahead with July reopening despite Covid surge

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Hotels and other tourism business are hoping the July 1st reopening goal can still be achieved.

A hotel information blog is claiming that, despite growing Covid-19 numbers, Phuket should stick to its schedule in reopening to travellers without quarantine in July. That’s only 2 and a half months away.

In an interview with the Director of Travel and Tourism Consulting at GlobalData, they stressed that while it is crucial to rein in the spread of Covid-19 and the B117 strain now menacing Thailand, the risk must not overshadow the need to push forward with vaccinations and the march towards eliminating the quarantine by July in order to save the tourism industry and all those dependent on it.

“The Phuket pilot program is essential in creating a path towards economic recovery for Thailand, a country heavily dependent on tourism. More than 17% of Thailand’s gross domestic product is attributed to tourism and the Covid-19 pandemic has lead to the worst economic free-fall in over 20 years”

The blog acknowledges the inherent risk and possible appearance of foolishness to prioritise the plans to reopen and carry on with the same rollout schedule. But they urge Thai authorities to consider that July 1 is still 2 and a half months away, leaving ample time to recover and make progress towards the approaching Phuket reopening. A vital aspect of the reopening plan lies in vaccinating over 70% of Phuket’s provincial residents, a sizable task, but one that brings great benefit with or without the scheduled reopening.

“Pushing ahead to achieve this goal puts Phuket on track to welcome back tourists, perhaps in a “bio-bubble”, and restart the economy. The economy is desperate with household debt growing, pushing the government to enact emergency decrees to provide relief. These households need the return of tourism and the influx of cash international tourists will bring.”

The blog hopes that Thai authorities can balance the necessary Covid-19 safety measures in Phuket to protect the Thai population with the economic need to bring back tourism. They believe that with sufficient measures in place, vaccinated locals could welcome vaccinated international tourists back to Phuket reopening safely in July.

SOURCE: Hotel News Resource

 

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Heinz

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    It is impossible! Youngsters up to 18 are not imped, old ones only with Astrazeneca which will only be available in June! The second push takes three months! Calculate! Then there are 30% who do not get vaccinated and all Farangs who do not even go to a test because, if positive, you will be locked in a tented hospital for two weeks.

  2. Avatar

    Sam C

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    If you are an older or at risk Farang and you have any symptoms then you are crazy to not be tested, the success rate of cure with this new strain is much higher, but only if you are hospitalised

  3. Avatar

    Susan

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    The Phuket opening must go ahead as planned. If the tourists have 2 vaccines then they should be allowed and right now they are vaccinating Phuket residents.
    All we need from the government is the rules. Can they travel to a Bangkok after7 days in Phuket? Are children 18 and under allowed to travel or not?

  4. Avatar

    Frank

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Covid is already in Thailand. Vaccinated tourists who already had a PCR test before coming to Thailand are far less likely to have and spread the disease than people already living in Thailand.

  5. Avatar

    luca

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    sincerely I am sorry to feel the desperation of the tourism industry, unfortunately the dictator’s government was not able to buy the necessary vaccines, perhaps it trusted too much of its Chinese dictator leaders who were not able to make a working vaccine, I hope for the Thailand that is capable of reopening international tourism by mid-2022

  6. Avatar

    Oracle

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 12:47 am

    Whether the Phuket opening goes ahead or not, no one with even limited intelligence will come. The world doesn’t revolve around what Thai hoteliers want. As someone who has to spend days and weeks planning and re-planning on how to get home for holiday from an overseas assignment, there are only 2 types of travelers, those that have to and fools. And tell the world, dear hoteliers, what awaits the early visitor in Phuket…shuttered shops, restaurants & bars, vacant streets, beaches & entertainment venues, being herded around like sheep or dogs on a leash in a bubble, hotels that are only partially operating with reduced staff, and so on. And for this I’m going to pay an inflated price, for half of what I enjoyed on a prior visit? And Thailand has stuck their heads in the sand when it comes to controlling the virus and testing, and the problems are just beginning. Last time I checked .07% of Thais were vaccinated, lowest in Asia. See you in 2022, if the country hasn’t imploded on itself by then. Everything I’ve read about bringing tourists back to Thailand is to empty their pockets, and nothing of what Thailand is offering the tourist. And what other country throws all who test positive into a hospital for 2 weeks?

  7. Avatar

    Night Rider

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 4:09 am

    Who wants to come to Thailand if all bars are closed? About a week ago 16 Germans arrived in Phuket for a holiday. Have they starved to death or died of dehydration?

  8. Avatar

    Oracle

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 8:51 am

    The author of this article obviously has vested interest in the message being conveyed, a disgrace to his profession. I submitted a very detailed and factual response explaining why Thailand is not ready for tourism, but is was not published. The truth of what awaits visitors is deliberately being hidden, all for the return of the tourist dollar.

  9. Avatar

    Kim

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 8:52 am

    Greed at its best. There are hardly any testing done, however, the majority of people being tested are positive! This indicates the actual infection rate is much higher than the official numbers and I fear that after this Songkran with all the traveling it’s now even worse. Why rush the opening of Phuket and risk a 4th or 5th wave?

  10. Avatar

    Ben

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 9:04 am

    The blog’s approach is reasonable – that they should continue to push forward with the original plan and not give up because of the latest wave.

    The situation of course is fluid and any future decisions will depend on the what’s happening at that time. July is a goal in a plan.

    Whether they let tourists, who have stayed in Phuket for 7 days, into Bangkok will depend on whether they can acquire the infection and transmit it to the unvaccinated. The jury is still out on that question and hopefully scientists will answer that soon.

  11. Avatar

    J West

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 11:08 am

    The residents of Phuket were jabbed with Sinovac….50/50 you still get Covid. International media has been reporting the rampant Fake Covid Certificate flyer scam coming out of U.K. India Pakistan Africa …finally. We talked about that on this blog 2 months ago. An exclusive for Thaiger fans.

    Bar barons , hotel moguls, taxi mafia, condo kings ?…. this is a good opportunity to bone up on risk management skills.

    Pervs, boozers…sex goons…take things in hand…the good old days are gone. For those of us who live here and want to live…personally I’m happy with further restrictions.

  12. Avatar

    Shane

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 11:35 am

    “reign in the spread of Covid-19”. Really?

  13. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 12:31 pm

    “And what other country throws all who test positive into a hospital for 2 weeks?”

    Locally: Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, parts of Indonesia including Bali, and Hong Kong although they don’t all put them in hospitals but in “state quarantine facilities” which are generally converted army barracks.

    Other countries like New Zealand do the same thing too, @ Oracle.

    In Hong Kong “close contacts” of those testing positive are also quarantined in “state quarantine facilities”, including children, even if they test negative!

    Agree with your other sentiments 100%, though, FWIW.

  14. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Looking at the original source, the “Director of Travel and Tourism Consulting at GlobalData” is primariky an “Automotive” consultant, based in Hyderabad, India!

    Gen, you can’t make this stuff up!

  15. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    ” And what other country throws all who test positive into a hospital for 2 weeks?”

    My comment replying hasn’t appeared here yet, but it was incomplete.

    On checking, locally Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Brunei and parts of Indonesia including Bali all “throw all who test positive into a hospital for 2 weeks”, or into a “state quarantine facility” (usually an army barracks), and Hong Kong does the same for “close contacts” even if they test negative.

    In Laos, everyone hospitalised with Covid pays, including Laotians, which could explain why their numbers are so low.

    New Zealand also “throws all who test positive into a hospital for 2 weeks”.

  16. Avatar

    Ray

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    Is Simon Small the reincarnation of Issan John??

    • Thaiger

      Thaiger

      Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 8:18 pm

      He didn’t hide it very well.

  17. Avatar

    Mike

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 2:19 am

    So much for returning for the high season this coming fall/winter. It doesn’t look like I will return now until high season 2022. Even if Phuket opens up by the end of the year it will only be a skeleton of its former self. Seeya in a couple of years, maybe!

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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