Connect with us


Phuket’s tourism representatives petition PM over ban on local vaccine purchase



PHOTO: Dive Magazine

Representatives from various tourism associations on the southern island of Phuket have reacted with dismay to a government ban on local administrations and the private sector purchasing Covid-19 vaccines. In January, the Public Health Minister stated that the government was not opposed to local authorities purchasing their own vaccine supplies, provided the jabs had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, Anutin Charnvirakul now appears to have done a U-turn, declaring that such purchases are not authorised. His statement comes amid growing criticism of the pace of the government’s own vaccine rollout.

The announcement has frustrated several tourism groups in Phuket, who had been hoping to fund the vaccination of 70% of the island’s population with a view to achieving herd immunity and being able to re-open to international tourism from October 1. They have voiced their dismay in a letter to the PM, in which they petition for the ban to be reversed.

“The Phuket economy is heavily dependent on tourism, accounting for 94% of provincial income. Almost 8 months without inbound and domestic flights last year made all stakeholders suffer from a lack of cash, mounting debts, and increasing lawsuits regarding financial disputes.”

The letter goes on to point out that the resurgence of Covid-19 late last year has all but destroyed what was left of the tourism sector on the island. The Bangkok Post reports that a survey carried out by the Prince of Songkla University reveals that per capita income in Phuket plummeted between February and September, 2020. And while the national poverty threshold was at 3,044 baht a month for that period, in Phuket, the average monthly income was just 1,984 baht.

14 associations, including the Federation of Thai Industries in Phuket and the Phuket Chamber of Commerce have signed the letter. Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi from the Thai Hotels Association says while hotel revenue improved slightly this month, the sector continues to struggle. Over 100 hotel workers lost their jobs this week as hotels could not afford to retain them. She points out that while provinces within driving distance of Bangkok may see an uptick in tourism during the Chinese New Year holiday, places like Phuket and Chiang Mai continue to suffer due to infrequent flights.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


Get more from The Thaiger

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Malaysia2 hours ago

Malaysian beauty salon gets makeover as dentistry school

Thailand4 hours ago

Northern floods tragedy – Monks unable to help

Tourism4 hours ago

Xi’s Bangkok APEC trip to open tourist floodgates

Sponsored2 days ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Pattaya5 hours ago

Police to curb Pattaya Beach drinking after student gun fight

Phuket6 hours ago

9th and 10th monkeypox infections found in Phuket

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Face masks still required on public transport, in cinemas

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Cannabis News7 hours ago

Pattaya man attacked at gunpoint for selling cannabis

Crime8 hours ago

Police seize 60 suspects in online ‘ghost guns’ sting

Thailand8 hours ago

Bangkok Secret Nightlife – Bangkok Red Light District Secret Museum

Coronation9 hours ago

King Charles III debuts on UK coins

Politics24 hours ago

Vladimir Putin officially annexed four parts of Ukraine

Transport1 day ago

Phuket Airport officials pulled tourist from van, insisted they use airport taxi

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand’s strange laws – 10 strange laws in Thailand

Politics1 day ago

The long goodbye – Which way now for PM Prayut?

Pattaya1 day ago

Pattaya Police Chief cleared of vice slurs, back on duty

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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