Coronavirus (Covid-19)PhuketTourism

Phuket governor asks for funds for tourist tracking app

PHOTO: Flickr/pixelant

We’re not sure of the exact date when the Phuket sandbox idea was born, but we’re pretty sure the Thaiger had fewer grey hairs and definitely fewer wrinkles back then. What’s certain is that there has been a lot – a lot – of talk about Phuket’s July 1 re-opening and how exactly it will work.

Rules have been introduced, then changed. Other rules have been talked about but are yet to be clarified. And now, with just 3 weeks to go, the governor has put his hand up and said he needs money for a mobile app to track foreign tourists.

Phuket governor Narong Wunsiew has called on the government to fund and provide technical support for a mobile app that will keep tabs on international visitors who arrive as part of the Phuket sandbox scheme. According to the Bangkok Post, the app will connect to the database systems of government agencies like Immigration, the Labour Department and public health offices.

While Phuket tourism operators are not confident about the success of the sandbox scheme – at least in the first few months – the Tourism Authority of Thailand has forecast that 129,000 international tourists will arrive on the island over the next 3 months.

Foreign arrivals will need to have proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, at least 14 days prior to their arrival and will also need to remain on the island for 14 days if they wish to travel elsewhere in the country. Shorter stays on Phuket will also be possible, but only if visitors then leave the island on an international flight.

Narong says the idea behind the tracking app is to balance the need to attract visitors to the island with the need to control the spread of the virus.

“We’re trying to get as many people as possible to come to Phuket while controlling Covid-19 at the same time. We’re setting up a system to help Phuket move forward in a sustainable way. And even if a fourth wave ever occurs, we will have a system in place to deal with it.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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


  1. 3 weeks for developing a “working, non crashing” tracking app in English, good luck I would say.

    But don’t worry governor, there will not arrive any foreigners in 3 weeks, so no one to track…

  2. Where are the mandatory tracking apps in the greater Bangkok. 2000+ cases a day and hardly any one is vaccinated. This governor realy not understand what he is doing. Either you accept tourist to come without much prison like restrictions or simple not do it. Stop these idiot rules. All tourist are vaccinated and tested. And all arriving already need a app to be installed or check in manually at any public location. Its enough!!! I guess Thailand is not ready for mass tourism. Not Ready for this Sandbox pilot plan.

  3. If must track tourists give them free armbands not try to rip them off with so called tracking app. Best to realise tourists are going to need promotions and welcoming without restrictions being put forward which nothing less than quarantine.

  4. In my country, each state has it’s own “Check in” app. You log onto it. Put in your details, once. Then each store, pub, restaurant, shopping centre has it’s own unique QR Code. As you go in, you scan the QR Code and it automatically updates your details as a visitor. It works and has helped us chase down close contacts of an outbreak, so they can get tested and isolate if needed and get treatment if found positive. It doesn’t “monitor” you every move!

  5. One invented restriction there, here is another.
    Every flight from Heathrow to Phuket must involve Thai Airways, or Thai Smile.
    Thai Smile is part of Thai airways.
    These flights cost $666 to fly out 5th July return 16th July.
    There is a flight on Singapore Airlines but that costs $1144.
    Flights from Amsterdam to Phuket involve the same conniving monopoly.
    Flights from Germany – same racket.
    The sneaky rats are forcing tourists to use Thai Airways, or Thai Smile.
    Need I point out the dangers of buying a fare on Thai Airways, or Thai Smile?
    I will anyway.
    Thai Airways, or Thai Smile will not fly and leave their passengers stranded.
    Thai Airways, or Thai Smile will not refund any fares.

  6. It would be far simpler to track tourists movements real time by a simple way of visual identification.Something like a big yellow star stitched prominently on their clothes is all that is necessary.this low cost system has been used effectively in germany many years ago.

  7. Why would tourists come to Phuket and get shot at by local village idiots with their slingshots, let alone be restricted to stay here for min 14 days. It’s monsoon season in Thailand and summer in most parts of Europe, why come here unless you have family? Let Phuket be closed to none residents for the remainder of the year and make sure to inoculate all residents in the interim. Don’t let greed dictate.

  8. Haha thai logic never stops does it. I’ve heard rumors thailand have opened up for medical marihuana but I did not know the administration had a prescription. Just another reason for the phuket sandbox to fail. Tourists don’t want to be tracked.

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