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Over 14,000 foreign tourists avail of Phuket sandbox scheme during first month



PHOTO: Facebook/สาม กรกฎา

The Tourism Authority of Thailand reports that Phuket welcomed over 14,000 foreign tourists, generating an estimated 829 million baht, during the first month of the island’s sandbox scheme. The Phuket sandbox was launched on July 1, allowing vaccinated foreign tourists from low-risk countries to visit the island without quarantine.

Participants are required to stay in approved hotels and remain on the island for 14 days (unless taking an international flight off the island), during which time they take 3 Covid-19 PCR tests. Once their 14 days are up and they remain negative for Covid-19, they are free to travel elsewhere in the country.

According to a report in TTR Weekly, 14,077 foreign tourists arrived in Phuket during the month of July, with most of them (1,802) coming from the US. This trend may well change following the latest US government warning against travel to Thailand. Phuket also welcomed 1,558 UK visitors, 1,455 Israelis, 847 German arrivals, and 839 from France.

TAT figures show that a total of 190,843 hotel room nights were booked during the month of July. August has seen advance bookings of 109,694 room nights, with a further 9,182 booked so far for September.

However, the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the most severe to hit Thailand since the start of the pandemic, means it’s unlikely a TAT forecast of 100,000 foreign arrivals between July and September will come to fruition. Such figures would have generated around 8.9 billion baht in tourism revenue, but despite this now seeming unlikely, local tourism operators say they still appreciate the slight revival in tourism offered by the sandbox.

Meanwhile, TTR Weekly reports that airlines offering direct flights to Phuket include Thai Airways (from Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Paris, London, and Zurich), Singapore Airlines from Singapore, Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi, Emirates from Dubai, Qatar Airways from Doha, and EL AL Israel Airlines from Tel Aviv.

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



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