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2,500+ in Phuket Sandbox, flight and hotel numbers increasing



PHOTO: Thai Airways brings 400+ travelers from Europe this week to Phuket International Airport. (via Wikimedia)

Despite the first international Covid-19 case of the Phuket Sandbox and the subsequently quarantined passengers requesting to leave Thailand, increasing numbers of international travellers continue to arrive each day in the reopening scheme. Yesterday 125 more travellers arrived on flights from Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi, with 11 more flights scheduled for the next 2 days.

That brings the arrival numbers as of yesterday to 2,524 international travellers arriving into Phuket International Airport. Today brought flights from Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai this morning, as well as Doha and Tel Aviv flights in the afternoon. Passenger totals on the flights have not been released yet.

The daily report noted that all 125 arrivals yesterday tested negative for Covid-19 and of the 2,500+ travellers arrived so far, only 1 has tested positive. Additionally, the first arrivals have now had their second swab test, and 475 tests so far have been negative, none positive, which is a strong win for the Phuket Sandbox that may help build confidence in the safety of the programme for potential travellers.

Hotel bookings for the Sandbox are increasing as well, with 130,113 room nights booked in July, as well as 11,623 more in August and 1,289 room nights in September. Many are planning further ahead too, with almost 1,100 room nights booked from October to February of 2022. The 3rd quarter of 2021, which coincides with the first 3 months of the Sandbox scheme has a total of 143,025 room nights booked in Phuket hotels.


Tomorrow sees the next round of European Sandbox arrivals with Thai Airways flights from Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Paris expected to land in the early morning hours bringing increasing amounts of travellers. Afternoon flights on Emirates from Dubai and Qatar Airways from Doha, plus the early evening Singapore Airlines flight are set to land as well. Flight databases show a scheduled flight from Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, but it has not been confirmed.

The Copenhagen flight has 39 people booked to Phuket, while 70 economy and 20 business class tickets were purchased for Phuket from Frankfurt, plus 17 more flying on to Bangkok. Paris will bring another 67 economy and 12 business class passengers, plus 10 more continuing to Bangkok. In total 208 travellers will arrive to the Sandbox from Europe on Saturday with numbers slightly increasing over last week’s flights.

Sunday Thai Airways operates a flight from Zurich, but the numbers could not yet be confirmed. Their popular London flight on Sunday is expecting to bring quite a few people with 32 business class tickets sold and 141 economy passengers, not including 32 to Bangkok. 173 passengers plus 208 Saturday and more on the Zurich flight should mean that Thai Airways is again delivering about 400 European travellers to the Phuket Sandbox this week.

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

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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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.

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