Connect with us


Survey: 90+% feel bar ban, restrictions hamper Phuket Sandbox

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: OVer 90% of those surveyed think that bar closures and sandbox restrictions will drive away tourism. (via Wikimedia)

In an “is water wet?”-style survey conducted by Thai Examiner, about 92% of foreigners polled disagree with the bar and entertainment venue closures during the Phuket Sandbox reopening. This, coupled with the bumbling, haphazard implementation of the reopening is driving foreigners away from coming to Phuket according to the site’s informal survey of 240 people.

The Mayor of Patong confirmed last week that bars and clubs would not reopen on July 1 when Sandbox tourists are allowed to arrive. He said that the Tourist Authority of Thailand and the Governor of Phuket made the call. 70% of those polled in the survey believed that reopening bars when tourists return to Phuket would not pose a significant public health risk.

About 96% of survey respondents believe that entertainment venues being closed and alcohol sales prohibited will severely limit the attraction of international tourists to Phuket. Thai Examiner quoted several readers saying they have cancelled their travel plans because of this and will go to more friendly destinations.

Aside from the lack of booze and partying, another major factor cited in the Phuket reopening survey is the lack of confidence in the reopening that has been chaotic and ever-changing. The TAT head was in Phuket over the weekend meeting with tourism operators and reassuring that plans were going ahead, despite confusing reports of the Minister of Tourism and Sports possibly commenting that Phuket wasn’t ready.

The plan to reopen has lacked clarity with local officials flip-flopping and unsure about everything from reopening rules to vaccines for expats. Plans are constantly changing with frequent governmental 180s dampening faith in the process and readiness to reopen Phuket.

In the push to officially confirm the July 1 reopening, a number of expanded rules and restrictions were shoehorned into the plan, causing outrage and cancellations for many would-be international travellers. Expanding the arrival waiting period to 14 days in an SHA Plus certified Phuket hotel with 3 Covid-19 tests and no guarantee of who bears that cost infuriated people excited to return. The Thai Examiner survey as well as comments on stories here at The Thaiger show many people cancelling their travel plans to Phuket after these new rules.

With all that, the plans are not even official and finalized yet, still needing approval from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration and then the Cabinet needing to approve it before being published by the end of the month in the Royal Gazette when it will finally be official. Another hurdle was passed with the National Communicable Diseases Committee approving the plan Monday, and PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced last night he will fast track the Cabinet approval, original scheduled for review next week.

The Thai Examiner survey showed that there’s still a significant desire to come to Phuket and enjoy the scene and scenery like the good old days gone by. But with no alcohol or entertainment venues and a laundry list of restrictions, rules and procedures, enthusiasm for coming anytime soon has waned.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Thai Examiner


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)42 mins ago

Government submits proposal to allow department store restaurants to sell food online

Best of1 hour ago

The Best Nightclubs in Phuket

Coronavirus Vaccines1 hour ago

Thai Red Cross denies its order of Moderna led to hospitals receiving fewer doses

Welcome back to Thailand!

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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Free transport for Covid-19 patients returning to home provinces for treatment

Environment2 hours ago

Indian landslide kills 9, injures 3

Indonesia2 hours ago

Indonesia extends Covid-19 disease control measures for another week

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of2 hours ago

Top 5 best island tours in Phuket

Tourism2 hours ago

Hotels hope for increase in foreign tourists to offset slump in domestic demand

Coronavirus Vaccines3 hours ago

Health Ministry insists donated Pfizer doses will go to medical workers first, not VIPs

Thailand3 hours ago

Today is Asanha Bucha Day (Wednesday is also a public holiday)

Coronavirus World3 hours ago

Thai government could learn a thing or two from other countries, say Thais abroad

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Monday Covid report, world situation and news briefs

Thailand4 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 15,376 new cases and 87 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Thai Red Cross order of 5 million Moderna vaccines in process

Bangkok12 hours ago

Peaceful pro-democracy protests in Bangkok by Taloo-Fah

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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