Coronavirus (Covid-19)PhuketTourism

TAT looks forward to welcoming 129,000 foreign tourists to Phuket

PHOTO: Flickr / jeiline

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says it expects 129,000 tourists to arrive on the southern island of Phuket in the first 3 months of its re-opening. Officials still insist the island will re-open for quarantine-free travel for vaccinated foreign tourists from July 1. And according to the Bangkok Post, the TAT also plans to team up with airlines to offer 100,000 subsidised one-way domestic air tickets.

The association is in talks with Thai Airways and Thai Smile Airways about offering a 1,000 – 2,000 baht subsidy towards domestic air fares for tourists participating in Phuket’s sandbox scheme. The scheme will also be expanded to include all local carriers.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn expects around 30,000 – 40,000 tourists a month, through Phuket’s sandbox model, with the primary target being long-haul markets. According to Yuthasak, 7-day packages in Phuket will be on offer for a somewhat eye-watering 150,000 – 200,000 baht per visitor, a significant increase on the 50,000 baht average spending per trip prior to the pandemic.

The Bangkok Post reports that most tourists will be required to arrive via a direct flight to Phuket. However, in the event of there being no available time slots at the airport, tourists will be permitted to transfer via Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport using a dedicated sealed terminal.

Once the other 9 sandbox areas join the re-opening, Yuthasak expects between 3 and 4 million tourists in the last quarter of the year. He says standard operating procedures to govern the entry of foreign tourists, including Covid-19 testing and guidelines for sealed routes, will be submitted to the Centre for Economic Situation Administration this month. Once approved and published in the Royal Gazette, tourism operators can launch their sales and marketing plans.

Yuthasak adds that work is needed on the supply and administration of vaccines, pointing out that new clusters in places like Bangkok could affect vaccine administration in Phuket.

“The new outbreak in Thailand didn’t affect tourism sentiment in foreign markets as the media in each country turned their focus towards the situation in India and domestic cases in their own countries. However, travel agents expressed concern that the virus situation may affect the reopening timeline which prompted TAT to confirm that everything is running as scheduled.”

He said travel agents are waiting for clear entry regulations, so they can offer packages to their customers.

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. 7 days for 5-7K USD…LOL. I can stay in Dubai a whole month on 5K with a family of 4 staying in the Marina in a 3 bedroom apartment enjoying decent food, clean beaches and first class attractions. For what anybody would spend 5-7K US in LOScam in a week. TAT are fully out of their mind again. Keep on dreaming guys.

  2. @John 2, you sum it up perfectly. I know at least 5 people who want to return to Phuket in July and they will read that with utter dismay. They talk about your groups, which is aimed at the Chinese market I assume. Most of the people I know happily book their own flights and tickets on line and don’t use expensive package tours. Are these the only way they plan and letting people in? I’d love to know if TAT have even asked their target customers to provide any feedback? I doubt they will have done. As you say @John 2 they really are not getting it

  3. I had to laugh when I read this article! 30000 to 40000 tourist a month and who will pay up to 200000THB each for one week??!?!?!?!! hahahahaha
    I have to stop, otherwise I will get cramps from laughing

  4. So “7-day packages in Phuket will be on offer for 150,000 – 200,000 baht per visitor”, and the incentive to pay that is “offering a 1,000 – 2,000 baht subsidy towards a one-way domestic air ticket”?

  5. Ah this has come up before. The subsidized one way tickets. They are, but the return ticket cost more than normal, paying for the subsidy.
    It is like a two for one offer. The first one bought is the same price as two.
    The lovable little Thai scamps are at their old tricks.
    Of course I could be completely wrong and they may not be lovable little Thai scamps, they could be nasty scamming Thai rats. It is a perplexing problem for me to chose the more accurate description.

  6. All former predictions from the TAT were pure nonsense. We all remember about their expected millions of tourists with their quarantine hotels program for the last high season and other nonsense predictions.

  7. Chinese tourists cannot travel, Indian tourists do not think they are welcome in this period, Western tourists will stay close to home this year, maybe they mean tourists from Mars?

  8. I’m getting very confused here, yesterday The Thaiger ran a story saying Phuket wasn’t going to make the July 1st start, today it appears it is.

    I’m also confused about these ridiculously expensive 7 day packages, is that going to be the only way to visit Phuket or can vaccinated tourists make their own arrangements? Either way I can’t imagine why anyone would book anything at this time with so much uncertainty around.

  9. According to the simple flying website Thai are offering regular flights to phuket from several major european destinations starting on July the 2nd.
    I have checked thais own site to test book a flight London Heathrow to Phuket on that date.
    The thai website is showing flights and seats available.the round trip fare in economy is just over 900 GBP.sounds pretty risky to me.

  10. It depends on what you want to go to Phuket in early July for? If it’s for a nice relaxing holiday with lots of places to go and relax at nice bars and restaurants, then I’d give it a miss. It the rainy season and many bars and restaurants would be closed or near empty. If you want to go to get pissed up and have sexy with someone your granddaughters age then feel free. A relaxing holiday on the beach with nice food and drink will be available a lot lot closer to home and a lot cheaper this year for many Europeans and Americans

  11. Overly optimistic predictions by government officials are
    just as damaging as Covid 19 itself. To think that tourist hard hit by lockdowns thru out the world would be willing to pay for tour packages averaging $800 to $1200 per day is absurd. Tourist come to Thailand for its affordability.

  12. I am pleased that the Phuket beaches and oceans got a bit of a break from tourism overuse. Has the absentee king used some of his wealth or influence to get the citizens vaccinated this summer? I am an not sure whether he pledged to do so.

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