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

Maya Taylor

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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

 

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  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

      Niko

      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

    SG666

    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Disagree
    ..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

          Nipral

          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

            Manu

            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

        SG666

        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

    EdwardV

    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

    harry1

    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

    aldus

    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 3:35 pm

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

  7. Avatar

    Paulnou

    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

    Mike

    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.

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