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Government urged to provide booster shots in sandbox destinations



PHOTO: Mufid Majnun for Unsplash

Tourism representatives are calling on the government to provide vaccine boosters for people who live in sandbox destinations. Chamnan Srisawat, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, says the country can’t wait for the virus to disappear completely and the only solution is for residents in sandbox areas to get maximum protection against new variants and outbreaks.

“Herd immunity across the country, especially in 10 pilot destinations, is the most crucial factor for successful re-opening.”

The TCT has carried out a survey of tourism operators and locals in the sandbox areas, which include Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui, and Chiang Mai. The findings show that 53% of tourism operators and 60% of locals want the government to introduce a strict 1-month lockdown in the event of a new outbreak.

The Bangkok Post reports that around 725 tourism operators and hundreds of local residents in sandbox destinations took part in the TCT survey, which was carried out between May 15 – 30. Of the locals who participated, around 67% want to be vaccinated this year, while 50% are waiting for alternative vaccines to become available. Of those, 36% want the Pfizer vaccine, 11% want the single-dose Johnson & Johnson option, 10% would prefer AstraZeneca, 8% want the Moderna vaccine, while 7% would choose Sinovac. 26% say they would accept any vaccine they’re given.

Asked about domestic travel, 48% say the frequency of their trips would remain the same after 2 doses of a vaccine, while 19% say they’d travel more often after being vaccinated. In relation to vaccinated domestic tourists, the overall perception is high, at 97% in Phuket, 96% on Samui, and 85% in Pattaya, but it drops to 44% in Chiang Mai.

Meanwhile, 74% of Phuket residents, and 84% of Pattaya locals, say they’ll welcome fully vaccinated international tourists. On Koh Samui, just 39% of people feel the same and in Chiang Mai, the number is only slightly higher, at 40%.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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