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Phuket proposes to welcome tourists by November

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Willy Thuan/

PHOTO: Willy Thuan

Phuket business owners are pressing forward with a proposal to turn around province’s tourism industry by allowing long-stay tourists to resume visits to the southern resort island as early as November. Under the “4T” model put forward at a meeting of the provincial disease control committee, long-stay visitors have been identified as having the best potential to be welcomed. 4T, which stands for Target, Testing, Tracing and Treatment, is designed to balance public health with economic recovery, according to the province’s business community. according to president of the Phuket Tourist Association:

“We should start with a small group of long-stay tourists. Chartered flights will be the answer and we can begin on November 1.”

Under the model, target groups must take a Covid-19 test to ensure they are virus-free before departure. Once they arrive in Phuket, they’ll be tracked to mitigate the risk of transmission while authorities work to ensure public health, preparedness and response.

The president of the Kata Thani Hotel says hotel operators are ready for the proposal, in which visitors will be required to stay at their accommodation for 5 to 14 days before they can go out and explore. He says community health volunteers should be brought in to observe the quarantine process and boost local confidence in disease control measures.

“We shouldn’t let the opportunity go to waste.”

Phuket, whose local economy depends almost entirely on the service sector and tourism, has been one of the provinces hardest hit by the pandemic. Phuket welcomed 14 million tourists last year and tourism revenue was around 400 billion baht. Covid-19 killed the boom: in the first 2 months of the pandemic, the local economy suffered a 20 billion baht loss.

The president of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, says the majority of local people agree with the proposal to open the province, but are concerned about a fresh wave of infections. He noted too that some 500 foreign students are waiting to return.

“We can take it step by step and make Phuket the model.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 11:29 am

    It will depend on the cost. If the hotels take advantage and charge treble, and the charter flights are $2000, no tourist will arrive.
    The Thais forget other countries in the area want tourist money also, and they will undercut Phuket to have them.

    • Avatar

      Rinky Stingpiece

      Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      Not all Thais are oblivious to this, but true not enough are really switched on about the fatigue with various moneygrabbing behaviours.

  2. Avatar

    David Sanders

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    They should include O-A retirement visa holders who got stuck outside of Thailand.

  3. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    There needs to be some sort of flight + hotel package deal that’s financially attractive to interested tourists. I like other places too and can just as easily see what other options are available and go there.

  4. Avatar

    HongKong er

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Cost of air ticket, hotel and time, money on virus check before departure.
    Plus 5 to 14 days stay on hotel, jail on hotel room, who will think that is holiday and who will go Thai on this situation?
    Thai government is too optimistic.

  5. Avatar


    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Can your Thai girlfriend from elsewhere in Thailand join you.?

  6. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    The idea is unclear… 5 days or 14 days quarantine in the hotel?
    You do not sell something so vague… what is not vague is the 400 billion THB that Phuket is not collecting on a yearly basis.
    Expect massive number of bankrupties when the debt moratorium expires next October 1st!
    Something serious and credible must happen or the country will have to bail out the tourism sector at an unbelievable cost!

  7. Avatar

    Chris johansen

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    No one is going to come when confined to your hotel for 14 days. They must be joking.
    I myself have family and house in Bangkok and want to return to see/stay with my family. Lived in Thailand for 20 years, but going to cost $2K us to quarantine at a hotel. Why can’t I quarantine at my house?

  8. Avatar


    Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 6:29 am

    Well I mean if it isn’t too much trouble. I mean I wouldn’t want to put anybody out. FOOLS

  9. Avatar


    Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 8:47 am

    November? Government wants to kill us to death, this is not even help.

  10. Avatar


    Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 9:24 am

    The biggest issue to entry as I understand it is the required insurance. So far I have been getting quotes between 40,000 – 50,000 baht for one year Covid insurance. This is only viable for long stay and even then is a massive hit when one is already paying insurance outside of Thailand.

  11. Avatar


    Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Over the last few years, there have been fewer and fewer Western farangs here on holiday, the vast majority of tourists are now (pre Virus of course) from China followed by the surrounding countries such as Malaysia, Korea etc.

    Many Western-style restaurants have closed down and massive new market type open-air eating areas have replaced them which are used by the tourists from China etc.

    The good news is many of the seedy areas (bars etc) have also closed down due to lack of requirements as Chineses tourists do not use them, that is a good outcome.

    Most of the farangs in Phuket now live here, they do not spend much compared to the tourists of course as many are on pensions.

  12. Avatar


    Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 8:57 am

    Apply a 100-300 baht insurance surcharge to every arrival, even Thais, to be put into an insurance scheme to pay for any Covid health issues.

  13. Avatar


    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Does Thailand want tourists?
    Must go back to 30 years ago!
    affordable cost of holidays.
    . Airfare ~ 500 usd R / Trip (by THAI AIRWAYS and BKK AIR)
    . devaluation of the currency around 50 / 55thb x usd.
    . hotel prices -50%
    . and the most important 3 months visa upon arrival FREE as a possible renewal of another 3 months.
    . medical certificate issued on departure by government officials
    . monitoring and testing from non-private government hospitals (crazy price), Wachira or PPH, all FREE.

    The Gov proposal are a nonsense… better another lockdown

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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.

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