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Tourism officials to launch major Phuket marketing campaign overseas

Maya Taylor

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A Phuket beach in busier, pre-pandemic times. PHOTO: Flickr/jeiline

Following the recent murder of a Swiss tourist, and the US government advising citizens to avoid travel to Thailand, Phuket’s tourism sector faces some serious challenges. The southern island re-opened to international tourists on July 1 under its sandbox scheme but now officials fear that may be in jeopardy. The Bangkok Post reports that the Tourism Authority of Thailand is now planning a major marketing push overseas to promote the island as a safe destination.

Earlier this week, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention upgraded Thailand to Level 4, its highest warning level. The CDC is urging its citizens to avoid travel to the Kingdom, even if they are vaccinated, as a result of the Delta variant that has become the dominant strain in Thailand.

While there has been little immediate impact on tourism following the murder of Swiss national Nicole Sauvain-Weisskopf last week, the same cannot be said for Thailand’s rising Covid-19 infections. Nanthasiri Ronsiri from the TAT’s Phuket office says it’s now vital to communicate to potential tourists overseas and foreign tour operators that the island is the most vaccinated area of Thailand and safe from the Covid-19 crisis gripping many other parts of the country.

However, while tourism officials are busy planning a Phuket marketing campaign, the island’s provincial health office has reported a rise in Covid-19 infections on the island, particularly among Burmese workers in the fishing sector. According to the Bangkok Post, the office confirmed 297 new infections last weeks and 328 so far this week.

“New cases are coming on a wave of the Delta variant, which spreads 60-70% faster than the outbreak in April. There are more patients as we have more visitors and inbound workers.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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