Thailand’s renowned paradise of Phuket is looking to entice more low-cost Saudi flights to the island province. The Phuket Tourist Association said in a Facebook post yesterday that it sent a delegation to meet with a low-cost Saudi airline last week.
The delegation met with the airline, Flynas, at Flynas’s headquarters in Saudi Arabia on January 25. The delegation gave a presentation about why Phuket is an ideal destination for Flynas to schedule direct flights.
The Phuket Tourism Association’s secretary-general, and its vice president, pointed out how popular Phuket was with Saudis, and other Middle Eastern tourists, since restrictions were relaxed and regular flights resumed last year.
The two noted that Phuket has almost fully rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic, and is on track to attract its target number of international tourists this year, The Phuket News reported.
The secretary-general, Kan Ekkavanich, reported that Flynas responded positively to the presentation. Kan said that Flynas is now looking to acquire further aircraft, and possibly begin direct flights in the middle of this year. This would coincide with the summer holiday period in Saudi Arabia when many Saudis will be travelling.
Last year, Thailand and Saudi Arabia rekindled relations and made amends over the ‘Blue Diamond Affair‘ in 1989, when a Thai cleaner stole diamonds from the Saudi prince and his wife.
Since restoring relations, Thailand and Saudi Arabia have been working on several tourism schemes together. In June, PM Prayut announced that tourists who hold a Saudi Arabia passport can enter and travel to Thailand for 30 days without a visa.
In August, an exhibition was held at an Islamic centre in Bangkok to celebrate Thai-Saudi relations. The exhibition aimed to educate the public about the role Saudi Arabia has played in helping Muslims around the world, and its ties with Thailand. Ancient Islamic texts were displayed, and Qurans with Thai translations were handed out for free. An Arabic calligraphy master wrote people’s names in Arabic.
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