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Accelerated vaccination plan for Phuket, Koh Samui recommended by tourism sector




Photo by Alexandr Podvalny for Pexels

Those in Thailand’s tourism and airline industries are pushing for an accelerated vaccination plan for Phuket and Koh Samui as well as for those in those in the tourism sector. With Phuket set to reopen under the “sandbox” model in July, tourism and airline representatives also ask for a clear timeline for reopening the country to foreign travellers.

In a letter to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, 8 organisations in the tourism and airline industries voiced their support for the new “sandbox” travel model planned for Phuket, and possibly Koh Samui. The scheme will allow foreign visitors vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel to specific tourist destinations in Thailand that have reached herd immunity.

The organisations are pushing for the vaccinations in Phuket and Koh Samui to be accelerated and propose that at least 70% of the population on the Phuket and Koh Samui to be inoculated between April 15 and June 30.

Globally, many countries are expected to reach herd immunity by the end of August, a trend that the tourism and airline representatives say “bodes well for Thailand’s tourism sector.

According to a survey by travel agencies, many vaccinated tourists expressed their interest in visiting Thailand, as soon as quarantine requirements are lifted. Such survey results suggest that even if Thailand were to reduce mandatory quarantine to seven days, the shortened quarantine period would still be enough to dissuade potential visitors from traveling to Thailand.

Achieving herd immunity will enhance the safety in welcoming travelers from abroad.

By June, around 1 million people in the tourism and service sectors, such as hotel staff and airline crew, should be vaccinated, the organisations propose.

They also ask that the government allow the private sector to be involved in the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines to help acquire the supplies and expedite distribution.

The letter was signed by presidents and representatives from the Tourism Council of Thailand, Thai Hotels Association, Pacific Asia Travel Association Thailand, Thai Travel Agents, Airlines Association of Thailand, International Air Transport Association, Board of Airline Representatives and Thai Spa Association.


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  1. Avatar


    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    Who cares what the tourism sector recommends? It only matters what the government actually does, and so far, they have done absolutely nothing to attract anybody.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    “They also ask that the government allow the private sector to be involved in the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines to help acquire the supplies and expedite distribution.”

    Since the signatories must already be very well aware that none of the major manufacturers are supplying vaccines commercially this is posturing to justify their position, nothing more.

  3. Avatar

    Matt Miran

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 12:14 am

    Any length quarantine = NO TOURISTS

    Smart opening with vaccinated tourists = +$$$

    Not a difficult equation!

  4. Avatar


    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 12:24 am

    It’s been reported you are only required to stay in Phuket for 7 days before being allowed to travel to other parts of Thailand. Makes sense since they have already decided to reduce the quarantine from 14 to 7 days for vaccinated tourists. That works for me since I’m not a big Phuket fan and would prefer to spend most of my holiday somewhere else. Still many questions remain concerning things like types of testing, acceptable vaccine manufacturers, timing of vaccinations, insurance requirements and such. However it’s starting too look good.

  5. Avatar

    the man the myth the lengend

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 12:55 am

    how about hua hin? will that be open? why not open now?

  6. Avatar

    the man the myth the lengend

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 12:58 am

    yeah I am not a big phukett fan as well. I live in the Philippines and its locked down there so I will travel to Thailand again, even though Vietnam is better. I will NOT stay one day in quarantine, I am vaccinated and have had the wuhan flu before and it is NOTHING. A healthy person with low BMI (all thailanders and Vietnamese) have nothing to worry about, hence the low numbers.

  7. Avatar

    Clive G

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 2:47 am

    Time will tell, but I think Thailand should be very careful about the vaccination, especially what vaccines they choose. Israel has carried out mass vaccinations, yet their transmission rates Are increasing. The mRNA vaccines alter your immune response making you more infectious and likely to pass the virus to others for a six week period. This is not unheard-of with other vaccines, for example, have you ever wondered why the insert in the chickenpox vaccine tells you to stay away from pregnant women for six weeks.

  8. Avatar


    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 8:14 am

    Travellers will NOT come to Thailand if their home countries require them to quarantine on return, so Thailand can keep planning and changing plans and announcing plans until the cows come home, it will just not see the mass tourists it is hoping for. The whole tourism industry should just accept this fact by now and move on – this industry is NOBODY’s priority until the pandemic is controlled. Thailand’s reliance on tourism is a bullet in the brain and it needs to pivot away from low hanging fruit.

  9. Avatar


    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 8:53 am

    If after a year there are still those who think ( hope ) that opening up to tourists should only be based 100% safety guarantees, then those individuals must have been living in a fantasy bubble. I would also bet that they are wealthy individuals unaffected by the lack of tourism in Thailand.
    Vaccinate the vulnerable on those islands and use the regions as your insurance policy.7 days later those who are Covid19 free can travel to the rest of the country. No genius required for that one

  10. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 10:50 am

    “It’s been reported you are only required to stay in Phuket for 7 days before being allowed to travel to other parts of Thailand. Makes sense …”

    The only people it “makes sense” for, Ed V, are the vaccinated tourists and those vaccinated on Phuket.

    For the rest – 99% of the population – it’s a recipe for disaster.

    Even the AZ vaccine is, at best, their figure, only 76% effective at stopping asymptomatic infection and transmission – so 24% ineffective.

    Even taking best case scenarios, with the inaccuracy of the rapid test this will mean up to 20 infectious cases arriving per day if numbers are only 10% of 2019 arrivals – that’s not 20 potentially infectious cases, but 20 infectious cases.

    The backlash for Thai tourism and the Thai economy if that happens will set Thailand back years.

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