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Phuket unemployment rates rise, average monthly income drops

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Phuket unemployment rates rise, average monthly income drops | Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

With the lack of foreign tourists visiting Phuket, many tourism-dependent businesses have suffered. Officials have reported a spike in unemployment in Phuket and say average monthly income has dropped down to 1,900 baht.

Government officials are now discussing potential measures for economic rehabilitation on the island province as well as the so-called “sandbox” travel scheme, which is expected to help revive the island’s tourism sector.

Phuket’s poverty line back in 2019 was at 3,068 baht per month. Since the pandemic, the number of employed people in Phuket has risen to 64,000 people and the average income has dropped to 1,900 baht per month, according to Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at PSU Phuket’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, Chayanon Pucharoen.

The “We Travel Together” government subsidy scheme, aimed at promoting domestic tourism to help revive the economy, generated 1.5 billion baht for Phuket, but Chayanon said the unemployment rate still went up and average monthly income went down.

Another tourism stimulus campaign, “Tour Tiew Thai” is set to start on Thursday and is expected to draw in 15.5 billion baht nationally.

The new “sandbox” tourism model is expected to revive Phuket’s tourism industry starting in July. The scheme will allow travellers who are vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel to specific areas in Thailand that have reached herd immunity.

Phuket has requested 933,174 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to cover 466,587 people. Each person needs 2 doses of the vaccine. The plan is to vaccinate at least 70% of the population on the island province by the end of June. President of Phuket Tourist Association, Bhummikitti Raktaengam, says 100% of the people in the tourism industry on the island need to be vaccinated.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bill

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    I would rather make 1900 baht per month and eat ramen noodles every day than have to potentially deal with common cold symptoms for a few days. Covid!!!

  2. Avatar

    Kim

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    There are still plenty of red plate BMW’s, Benz’s, Porsche’s etc here in Phuket thus things aren’t that bad as some would like to portrait it. Plenty of people eating out during the weekends in Cherngtalay. The gab between the middle class and poor has risen exponentially, like the rest of the world and I guess this is just the nature of the beast. Some news outlet previously claimed the month average salary in Phuket was thb 40000 pre C19, one can wonder why people didn’t save for a rainy day considering they made at least 3 times more than the national minimum salary?

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    “Since the pandemic, the number of employed people in Phuket has risen to 64,000 people … ”

    I think you mean the number of UNEMPLOYED people in Phuket 😂

    “…the average income has dropped to 1,900 baht per month, according to Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at PSU Phuket’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, Chayanon Pucharoen.”

    That is NOT what Chayonon Pucharown said, although that’s what the Phuket News keeps reporting.

    What he VERY clearly said was that this was the average income per head of population FROM FOREIGN TOURISTS – absolutely NOT the “average income”.

    Completely different, and copying it parrot fashion, repeatedly, without verifying it is poor reporting at best.

  4. Avatar

    Sanuk

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    IJ,
    You should be used to all the errors in The Thaiger articles by now. You’ll never read one article on this site without factual errors, spelling errors or grammatical errors.

  5. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    They will receive no sympathy from me.
    Tourism was going down before Covid, due to scams, double pricing, and a rotten system of rip off the tourists.
    I want them starving, picking up cans, fishing, foraging in the jungles, and begging.
    They had it coming . . .

  6. Avatar

    Bruno

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 1:34 am

    Yup just down with them – more more. they dont understand it yet
    allways rude in Phuket arrogant lie cheat steal . for me they can swim in their own shit its their own fault all of it
    what about the poor people up in Essan ? allways welcomed there.. kind friendly .. who now help them instead ?

  7. Avatar

    funny coz its true

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 6:24 am

    Architects of their own destiny, I have very little sympathy for Thailand. They screwed over tourists unsympathetically for decades.

  8. Avatar

    Bill

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 9:23 am

    I don’t understand the people who hate on Thais yet still read thethaiger daily. If you hate Thailand just move on.

  9. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    “I don’t understand the people who hate on Thais yet still read thethaiger daily.”

    They’re waiting to see if the “Hansum man I love you all night” 10 baht special they used to get has been re-introduced, Bill.

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Tourism

Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp”

Tim Newton

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Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp” | Thaiger
PHOTO: The monsoon waves are starting to hit Phuket's west coast

Thailand’s Sports and Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is acknowledging that Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ model for a no-quarantine re-opening in July will need “a major revamp”. As the Songkran travel bubble bursts and the monsoon season waves start to roll onto the island’s west coast beaches, Phuket’s scheduled July re-boot suddenly seems a long way off.

Minister Phiphat says he plans to meet with “all related agencies” this week. Apart from the latest national re-surge in new infections, Phuket has been unable to get its hands on sufficient vaccines to meed its deadline of 70% of the island vaccinated by July 1. Thailand’s limited supplies of the vaccine – including some 930,000 doses designated for Phuket – are being rerouted to other provinces as the government prioritises the limited supply.

“We are all concerned about the reopening timeline,” he was quoted in Bangkok Post.

But the Minister did acknowledge that, if the 70% vaccination level couldn’t be met, they may consider opening some areas of the island. Exactly how that would work hasn’t been revealed at this stage.

The minister also brought up the ongoing travel bubble negotiations and says he hadn’t heard back from some of the candidates with their reaction to the current outbreak.

Flights in and out of Phuket Airport’s international terminal have been extremely patchy and the flights from feeder tourist markets will need to co-operate with any re-opening plans.

Phuket, whilst suffering a rise in new infections, hasn’t been hit as hard as some of the other popular holiday provinces, like Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin).

This year’s Songkran was going to be a major stepping stone for the island’s recovery and many hotels, some who had opened especially to cater for Songkran holiday traffic, noted a lot of cancellations just prior to the break.

But some island hotels have still reported high occupancy rates over the past week. One Manager, who did not want his name published, said that their hotel was almost full with Thai patrons, most who had pre-paid for their flights and accommodation and decided to go ahead anyway.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, the president of the Phuket Tourist Association, says that they are opposed to any lockdown as it would cripple the island, with its tourist businesses already suffering greatly. He stated that 15% of people cancelled their Songkran bookings, while 30% had postponed their trips.

The Sports and Tourism Ministers is still in quarantine after having close contact with Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 2 weeks ago.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and ‘Kolour’ events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

Tim Newton

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Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | Thaiger

Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile Phuket has a total of 142 infections recorded on the island with the Governor still insisting there will be no need for a lockdown. Here’s a breakdown of the areas and the numbers of recorded infections so far (below).

Governor Narong announced that the Phuket Infectious Disease Control Committee won’t be implementing an official lockdown, but will “strictly raise the intensity of public health measures to counter the spread of Covid-19″.

“Everyone should wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and install the Mor Chana app (available for free from App Store and Google Play Store).”

A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

For Hua Hin expats, there’s been 100 new Covid-19 infections announced in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the past 24 hours, 75 cases from Hua Hin. This takes the total in the province since April 1 to 625. Hua Hin accounts for nearly 90% of the district’s total cases.

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