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It’s official: Tourism to return to Phuket in October – VIDEO

Jack Burton

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It’s official: Tourism to return to Phuket in October – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn - Destination Thailand News
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In a surprise move, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand told Reuters that tourists seeking long-stay holidays in the southern resort island of Phuket will be allowed into the province from October 1. The news comes with restrictions: tourists will be limited to staying in the alternative quarantine system but within a 1 kilometre radius of their hotel, giving them access to the seashore in many instances. The “safe and sealed” scheme to allow limited tourism has already been discussed, but an announcement wasn’t expected until September. Earlier proposals had put the date in November.

During mandatory 14 day quarantine, each tourist will be required to pass two Covid-19 tests. After the 14 days,tourists will be free to travel within Phuket. After a further week and another test, they’ll be allowed to travel throughout the kingdom.

The news effectively means that Phuket will be, for a period, the gateway through which the hundreds of thousands of foreigners stranded outside Thailand since the end of March can gain access. These include foreigners who haven’t been able or eligible, up to now, to obtain certificates of entry from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok since entry requirements were widened in May, June and July.

The proposal was pushed hard this week by beleaguered Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, as officials from the Centre for Covid 19 Situation Administration were seen visiting Phuket. It’s understood that he received the support of new the economic czar, Minister of Energy and former PTT boss Supattanapong Punmeechaow.

Phiphat has in the last few months seen several proposals rejected by the health-minded CCSA.

The development is likely to drive a wave of tourism to Phuket from October, leading to what many foreigners are hoping for: safe and reasonable access to the country that many see as a home from home. Phuket could well become a boom town in October.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Gary

    August 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Ok, but how to get there, too late for airlines to crank up many flights, which hotels are ASQ? As a retiree can I just go home and stay within 1 km of my isolated condo?

    • Avatar

      Max

      August 26, 2020 at 3:46 am

      After living in Thailand for 15 years I got stuck out the country now for 6 months ,
      Just realised that I don’t miss it much .
      I just can’t wait to go back to empty my bank account and not returning.
      I’m done with the place .

      The good old days are finished .

  2. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    August 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Will need more details:
    – Is this a required Thai Airways flight + hotel package?
    – Are there addtl charges for the testing or is it part of the package?
    – Will there be curfews?

    I won’t spend money if I’ll be restricted/confined but I need to know what I’m getting into so there won’t be any surprises.

  3. Avatar

    Richard Barker

    August 22, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Would love to try it but Aussie Government won’t let us out of Australia. Good luck

  4. Avatar

    Ts

    August 22, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Oh! the queues to come quarantine on scam island will be tremendous. As always TAT- Brilliant!

    • Avatar

      Steve

      August 26, 2020 at 3:34 am

      100% right

  5. Avatar

    Mauri

    August 22, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Good idea.!

    • Avatar

      Sami

      August 24, 2020 at 10:59 pm

      You must be out of your mind

  6. Avatar

    Remo

    August 22, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    But we are allowed to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days only , so we will have to do a visa run , reenter Thailand and start the whole procedure again.

  7. Avatar

    Gala

    August 22, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    HI

    WE LIVE IN HONG KONG
    COULD WE FLY TO PHUKET AND SPEND OUR 2 WEEKS OF QUARANTINE IN OUR FLAT IN PHUKET BECOSE WE ARE OWNERS?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ANSWER OR ADVICES

  8. Avatar

    Dirk

    August 22, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    That won’t change anything. I am not traveling in with a 3 month visa, I am wasting the first two weeks in an overpriced hotel, just so that I have to go again 10 weeks later because the practice of extending the visa is the same, either lawyer and smear or visa run, and thus again quarantine?

  9. Avatar

    gary

    August 22, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Singapore has just announced none or just 6 days for certain countries, I hope Thai officials are taking note, Sentosa and other attractions could be busy soon.

  10. Avatar

    shey

    August 22, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    14 days stuck at a phuket hotel for quarantine. 7 more days stuck in phuket. 4 covid test. One when you leave your country, one on arrival, one on day 14, one on day 20-21 just to travel freely.

    The longer you stay in phuket the more likely people will test positive so they will lock that island down and your 21 days will turn into a longer stay there with more testing.

    I will have to pass. This will all cost too much time and money. You can’t have both

    • Avatar

      bob

      August 23, 2020 at 12:36 am

      Yes, the threat of a lockdown of Phuket is very real – Following the logic, imagine we have someone positive during the 7 day phase when they’re free to wander around Phuket, they will close off the entire island down again.
      Or it might mean that Phuket inhabitants will also need to be tested to be allowed to leave the island, since they can have been in contact with positive tourists in their “7 day free to wander around Phuket” phase…

    • Avatar

      Trevor

      August 23, 2020 at 2:06 am

      Dont be so fucking negative you piece of shit

    • Avatar

      Peter James

      August 23, 2020 at 10:00 am

      Totally agree.
      There will not be many people taking up this offer
      Let’s wait to see

  11. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    August 22, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Does that mean direct flights from October 1 then?

  12. Avatar

    Andries Houtman

    August 22, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    i am so desperate, miss my girlfriend so much.
    We were going to get married, but I flew back to the Netherlands to arrange the papers.
    And for my diabetes.
    Now I can’t go to her anymore.
    She is Khmer and works in Ko Chang Thailand.
    My heart is torn.??

  13. Avatar

    Whowho

    August 22, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    The whole Thai visa system is ridiculous. To get a temporary residence in Mexico for 1,2,3 years you only need $32.5 in savings. Right now in Thailand you cannot get anything like that and we have to leave as our visa expires – which means that Thailand will lose quite a bit of income.

  14. Avatar

    William

    August 22, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Bull****

    No one going to opt for this!!

  15. Avatar

    Kurt Blattler

    August 22, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    this is ridiculous…. and a wicked idea! Are you really hoping overseas tourists will accept such an “offer”. Nobody seeks to stay 14 days in Quarantine (prison-like) Hotel…. The coming season will be 100% write OFF if you don’t change the travel rules NOW !!! Weak up Thailand and come up with reasonable and ATTRACTIVE conditions. Instead of hiding behind your borders you could take the actual situation as a chance …. Slogan could be “We are Covid19 free- come in and enjoy great holidays in Thailand”

  16. Avatar

    Sami

    August 23, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Can anyone please drive sense into their minds???? They keep on coming up with the daftest options and it would require a dafter tourist to accept these rules and go to Phuket. There is every likelihood of another set of new rules springing up while you are there and that’s it! Stay in Phuket for months…

  17. Avatar

    Jon

    August 23, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    The CCSA has not approved this plan. It is not, therefore, official. They are meeting on August 28th with these other agencies.

  18. Avatar

    Alex

    August 23, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Corona scheme! That’s all it is! What a joke! Remember the 1918 H1N1 flu pandemic, Spanish flu. 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Swine Flu. 2019, Covid-19 which behaves in some ways like influenza. To be more accurate, it’s a highly contagious viral pneumonia. In mild cases it results in few if any symptoms, such as cough and mild fever. In severe cases, it results in life threatening pneumonia that can be fatal, particularly in the elderly, immune compromised and individuals with severe underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and so on. Oh wait, just like the flu! seasonal influenza (not H1N1) has the worst effect on seniors; only 19 percent of seasonal influenza deaths occur in people age 65 and younger. 250,000 to 500,000 people die of seasonal flu.

    Compare the fatality rate from 1918 and 2009 and compare that to 2019. Don’t forget, 250,000 to 500,000 people die of seasonal flu each year.

    Get it!

    Covid-19, what a joke! Wake up already will you!

  19. Avatar

    Patrick Nouvel

    August 23, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    Its a positive move, need to know the conditions details deeper for that quarantine, thousands stranded in other countries will may be able to come back to their families & homes.

  20. Avatar

    RS

    August 23, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    IT’S OFFICIAL IS IT? AH, DONE & DUSTED AT LAST…
    well then, the high spending tourists (the TAT target group) who have been desperate to get back to the world’s prime holiday destination and all it’s charms (after they complete their 2 wk jail sentence of course) must be forming massive queues to apply for this chance of a lifetime ??

  21. Avatar

    Lough

    August 24, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    I understand the criticisms from people about the quarantine etc.. but if I can go there and stay in Thailand for 60 days (or even more) YES! Count me IN! It’s not for everyone but it works for me. Bring on the sunset Sing5555555….

  22. Avatar

    bobby m

    August 25, 2020 at 5:05 am

    No thanks – rip off central.

    You are holding desperate people (those with money invested, retirement property and loved ones they are desperate to see) to ransom and they still won’t achieve their goals, because you will end up locking the island down to prevent it. Totally deplorable behaviour.

    When it comes to holidays, I think you have forgotten that those choosing to visit the kingdom are in fact customers and need to be treated as such and not as leper’s.

  23. Avatar

    john e

    August 25, 2020 at 8:57 am

    No mention of this in the article but currently during quarantine booze is not allowed so maybe the TAT should sell it as a detox scheme.

  24. Avatar

    David Sanders

    August 28, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    It sounds like most comments are against it but it works great for me! My Thai family and residence is in Phuket, and two weeks in an ASQ sounds great after waiting 7 months to get back!

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Economy

70% of Phuket’s tourism businesses are closed, many for good

Caitlin Ashworth

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70% of Phuket’s tourism businesses are closed, many for good | The Thaiger
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Most tourism businesses in Phuket have closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and they probably won’t be up and running again until foreign tourists are let back in Thailand. Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew says around 70% of tourism businesses have closed, most of them just temporarily, but some have shut down permanently. But the statistics are not quite that simple, with the east side of the island, largely inhabited by locals with the central business district of Phuket Town and some of the more popular expat towns, doing far better than the tourist magnets of the west coast. The Thaiger estimates that on the west coast the number would exceed 90%.

Before the pandemic, tourism to Phuket brought in 450 billion baht a year with 400 billion baht from foreign visitors while the other 50 billion baht was from domestic tourists. Thailand has been trying to increase domestic tourism to help revive the industry after the pandemic. Phuket’s governor says it helps, but not enough.

“Their visits can help solve some of our economic problems, but they cannot replace the need of foreign tourists.”

66.8% of tourism businesses in Phuket have closed temporarily while 2.8% have closed permanently, according to data by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency. (Again the percentage along the west coast is MUCH higher – just take a drive through Paton, Kat, Karon). Phuket’s governor is trying figure out how to recover the economy. And fast.

“By the end of September, the number of businesses to be closed will increase up to 70% for sure.”

While many businesses are closed, the governor says Phuket is “almost 100% ready to welcome foreign tourists.” The governor says he can’t give an answer to when foreign tourists will arrive in Phuket, but he claims they’ve “prepared every step,” from checking in at the airport to hotel quarantine. They’re just going to install some new temperature check machines at the Phuket International Airport and review the procedures for welcoming the tourists.

“We have to work and prepare carefully to welcome foreign tourists… We have to gradually open our door to welcome small groups of people first, in order to test our system, and then open for bigger groups.”

At the moment, only 3 venues in Phuket have been approved to operate as alternative state quarantine facilities. Anantara Phuket Suites & Villas has 100 rooms available, Anantara Mai Khao Phuket has 36 villas and Trisara resort has 15 villas. All are 5 star venues with a commensurate 5 star cost.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Thailand’s Social Security Office forced to explain investment in Sri Panwa Phuket Resort trust fund

Maya Taylor

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Thailand’s Social Security Office forced to explain investment in Sri Panwa Phuket Resort trust fund | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sri Panwa Phuket Resort - Sri Panwa Phuket

The Social Security Office, a department under the direction of Thailand’s Ministry of Labour, is being asked to explain its investment in the trust fund of Phuket’s Sri Panwa Phuket Resort. The demand comes as members of the opposition and political activists call for an investigation into the property’s land rights. The owner of Sri Panwa Phuket, Vorasit Issara, has been condemned online recently, with his property attracting multiple negative reviews, after he criticised anti-government protest leader, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul.

Thai PBS World reports that the Civil Society for State Welfare is calling on the SSO to clarify its investment in the Sri Panwa Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust, thought to be worth around 500 million baht. Nimit Thian-udom says that, while the SSO’s investment does not break any laws, the board must explain the reasons behind the investment decision and clarify the return on that investment. In addition, he says the SSO should attach more importance to good governance when choosing where to invest.

The call for clarity is echoed by opposition MP Chirayu Huangsap, from the Pheu Thai Party, who calls on the Labour Minister to explain the investment. He adds that any discrepancies will be reported to both the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission.

The land rights of the luxury Sri Panwa Phuket resort, which sits on prime land atop Phuket’s Cape Panwa, overlooking the south-eastern tip of the island, are also being called into question. Veera Somkwamkid, from the People’s Network Against Corruption, says he is looking into the property’s land rights and will pass his findings to the Department of Special Investigations.

For his part, the Labour Minister, Somsak Thepsuthin, says he doesn’t know if the property has been legally built, saying it’s up to the DSI to investigate and that a complaint does not need to be filed in order for them to do so.

Meanwhile, review site Tripadvisor has had to suspend reviews for the Sri Panwa resort, as anti-government netizens exact their revenge on the proprietor by posting negative feedback on the property.

“Due to a recent event that has attracted media attention and has caused an influx of review submissions that do not describe a first-hand experience, we have temporarily suspended publishing new reviews for this listing.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

3 cities in Thailand recently joined UNESCO’s membership of so called “learning cities” which are said to promote “lifelong learning” and sustainable development. Chachoengsao, Chiang Mai and Phuket joined the UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities. Altogether, 55 cities from 27 countries, adding up to 230 cities in 64 countries around the world, according to UNESCO.

“These cities are outstanding examples of how lifelong learning can become a reality at local level. They have proven that effective lifelong learning policies and practices can support the development of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and contribute to the 2030 Agenda.”

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning David Atchoarena says the recent new members have shown that they can make “lifelong learning a reality,” even after enduring the pandemic.

“With unprecedented urgency, the Covid-19-19 pandemic has underlined the necessity to build more resilient education systems for the future. With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities must be at the centre of this undertaking.”

David says he hopes it will inspire other cities in Thailand to follow.

“I very much hope that we will see many other cities from Thailand joining the network and working on providing lifelong learning opportunities for all to ensure a sustainable and peaceful future.”

The mayor of Chachoengsao, Kolayuth Chaisang, says his goal is to provide “effective education, thoroughly and equally to all citizens.” According to the Bangkok Post, the city is a key urban centre both economically and culturally.

The mayor of Chiang Mai, Tussanai Buranupakorn, says he wants to revitalise the city, while also maintaining the cultural significance. The city has a number of educational institutes, which goes along with UNESCO’s learning city principles.

Phuket is a hub of sustainable creativity, according to the Bangkok Post. The mayor of Phuket, Somjai Suwansupana, says he wants to preserve the city’s “identity, local wisdom assets and the charm of our multiculturalism.”

SOURCES: UNESCO |Bangkok Post

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