Connect with us


PM in 2 day visit to economically-ravaged islands of Phuket, Samui

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Asia Times

The PM and his Cabinet are visiting Phuket and Samui today and tomorrow, in order to meet with business leaders and provincial government, to discuss ways to help the decimated local economies. Since the closure of borders in late March, as the Covid-19 pandemic began its worldwide rampage, former tourist hotspots like the southern islands have borne the brunt of the economic fallout. Both islands rely on more than 90% of their income, either directly or indirectly, from international tourism.

Officials have confirmed the planned itinerary for Prayut Chan-o-cha and his entourage, which will include an inspection of Covid-19 screening and hygiene measures at both Samui and Phuket airports. Officials at Phuket International Airport say it can currently handle the testing and quarantining of 578 foreign arrivals a day. Even so, the amount of people would be along way down from the previous 30,000+ arrivals Phuket averaged in 2019.

The PM is expected to hold talks with tourism officials and business leaders on both islands, in relation to the safe re-entry of tourists arriving under the Special Tourist Visa scheme. It is not yet known how successful or not the scheme might prove, given the onerous paperwork and substantial expense involved.

The PM and his officials will hold a mobile Cabinet meeting in Phuket on Tuesday. They are also expected to meet with officials and business leaders from neighbouring provinces, including Phang Nga, Krabi, and Trang, all of whom have been similarly affected by the border shutdown.

The government says it wants to support local businesses and hear any ideas they might have on how best to revive both international and domestic tourism. The PM’s visit to Koh Samui is also thought to be aimed at promoting the island as a safe destination. It’s understood some domestic tourists cancelled planned trips to the island after a woman who’d recently returned from overseas tested positive on the island after she’d been discharged from quarantine.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 10:43 am

    I hope there are some protests when the PM arrives.
    If not, these islanders demonstrate they are timid peasants and deserve to starve.

  2. Avatar

    Johnny Rambo

    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 10:46 am

    Your visit is useless you corrupt dictator. Just OPEN the damn borders, just bring back tourism. People are starving and dying from poverty while you enjoy life in your luxurious palace.

    • Avatar


      Monday, November 2, 2020 at 9:51 pm

      Sure and once the virus becomes widespread again and they are forced into another lockdown you will blame them for that too. It is easy to throw bull from the sidelines since you are not responsible when things go wrong.

      Plus please do you really want to make believe that you really worried about the “people starving”, what you are angry is that this is afecting your personal activities and pleasure.

  3. Avatar


    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 10:52 am

    ..keep the borders closed till July next year so I still can enjoy discounts on housing, car rental, restaurants etc
    ….I love it.

    • Avatar

      Johnny Rambo

      Monday, November 2, 2020 at 11:10 am

      Keep enjoying your discounts while the poor are starving you vile inhumane SOB. Keep enjoying it before Thailand becomes an impoverished banana republic where people will point a gun at you because they need those 600 Bahts in your pocket.

      • The Thaiger & The Nation

        The Thaiger & The Nation

        Monday, November 2, 2020 at 11:24 am

        You’re going to have to pull back a bit on your rhetoric and direct attacks on other commenters otherwise you’ll be blocked. Final warning.

        • Avatar


          Monday, November 2, 2020 at 4:25 pm

          Do you mean none is starving in Thailand thanks to this phony government lack of
          leadership ? Open your eyes !!! Rambo is quite right although his language could
          be more “politically correct”. But yours is not utterly sophisticated either !

          • Avatar


            Monday, November 2, 2020 at 5:09 pm

            I agree with you Nipral as there is some truth in Rambo’s comment. However I am very suprised with his comment this time since comment after comment, he calls generally Thai people, in a very hateful way, and I quote: “savages” and “all scammers”. And now, he takes their defence…??

            It would be nice if other touristic areas / islands are also being visited at some point and not being completely ignored as it all seems to be about Phuket, samui and Pattaya and that’s it. Koh Chang for example: it is the third biggest island after all (but yes, only after phuket and samui) and the situation here is just as bad, if not worse. And yes indeed, “strange” (I mean “obvious” here, for those who do not understand sarcasm) coincidence, suddenly a surge of small crimes and thefts have appeared on the island, which is unheard of here. For everyone here, Thais, cambodian workers and ex-pats, the current situation is starting to be unbearable. And what will be the situation in 6 months…???

      • Avatar


        Monday, November 2, 2020 at 5:33 pm

        Johnny Johnny, thanks for your compliments. I can confirm that I do not care about anybody starving in LOS. Simply because – specially in Phuket and other touristic orientated parts of this country – they were scamming foreigners out of their money every day before covid 19 happened. And now ? Everybody is wining.

        Maybe that’s Karma. I will continue taking advantage of this situation for sure as this simply has a significant impact on my families fix costs which results in additional savings which we can invest to improve our wealth. That’s the only thing I care about, nothing else.

        This is the real world, its called Capitalism and in this world money rules, like it or not.

        On top of this we will leave LOS anyway latest in July next year so why I should care about anybody here ? Let it be an impoverished banana republic, I will be out by than for sure.

        9 more month to go.

  4. Avatar


    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 11:31 am

    PR stunt at best. There is almost nothing the PM can do to help Phuket and kho samui outside of reopening the country to foreign tourists. He can offer more needed aid, but that’s about it. Anything else is just playing at the margins.

  5. Avatar


    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    locals are desperate,and need financial help and NOW,as far as business,if you continue to close the border,you have to provide financial package to support them,cancel all unnecessary future government requisition in light of the present financial climate

  6. Avatar


    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    maybe he can check also taxi fare? ticket flight? road situation?

  7. Avatar


    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    2 solutions, help the population to avoid debts pay back at this time, give some to eat, or open the frontiers with tests before coming, tests upon arrival, tracing and no quarantine more that very few days like 3 to 7 max
    Buddha save Thailand

  8. Avatar


    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    With so many countries wanting to relocate manufacturing from China and Thailand well equipped in this sector, much of the Phuket economy can be shifted to it. Many of the real estate will become vacant as the hotels, guesthouses, bars, coffee shops close.

    Not ideal for the locals as they’ll now have to graft but at least they’ll have an income. The old industries of fishing agriculture, coconut and rubber plantations can also be resurrected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 mins ago

5 million Moderna vaccines for Thailand, half of expectation

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 3: Are countries helping Thailand?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 2: Will your country give a vaccine?

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 1: Should you travel to Thailand?

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Lockdown for BKK? Demonstrations back on, Pathum Thani shooter arrested

Thailand4 hours ago

Myth busted: Drinking alcohol does not kill Covid-19 – VIDEO

Phuket5 hours ago

Power outages coming to Kathu, again

Tourism5 hours ago

List of countries by Covid-19 risk level, classified by Thailand’s DDC

Thailand5 hours ago

Legalised marijuana up next? Courts get closer to legalising kratom

Phuket6 hours ago

Phuket police raids nab suspects for allegedly having guns, drugs, kratom

World7 hours ago

Antivirus legend John McAfee apparent suicide in Spanish prison

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 4,108 new cases; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Bar girls in Pattaya arrested for allegedly violating Covid restrictions while live streaming

Protests8 hours ago

Gathering for 89th anniversary of constitutional monarchy

Crime8 hours ago

Police arrest suspect who allegedly killed Covid patient and 7-Eleven clerk

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8