Koh Samui sees surge in sandbox bookings for October

PHOTO: Flickr/Jutta M. Jenning

Tourism officials on Koh Samui say its sandbox programme has received a boost following the lifting of its 3-day quarantine. According to a Bangkok Post report, new bookings in the first 10 days of October have already surpassed the total number of bookings since the island re-opened on July 15.

Ratchaporn Poolsawadee from the Tourism Association of Koh Samui adds that the UK decision to remove Thailand from its red list has also led to an increase in the number of bookings by British nationals.

“The UK market totally disappeared the past month after Thailand was put on the red list. But we anticipate this market will return, along with the Russian market, with pent-up demand just awaiting the approval of flights.”

The Bangkok Post reports that in the first 10 days of this month, 955 tourists had made advance bookings for Samui, with 723 of them planning to visit this month, 158 next month, and 74 for December so far. In terms of nationality, 24.5% of visitors are from Germany, 13.4% from France, and 10.2% are Thai nationals. The average stay for over 79% of bookings is between 7 and 14 days.

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In related news, from October 15, local tourists will not be required to submit to a PCR test or antigen test prior to visiting Samui. Domestic visitors will be allowed to enter the island by showing their vaccination certificate. Officials hope that the government’s subsidy schemes will provide a boost to domestic tourism.

Since October 8, over 60,000 domestic tourists have booked through the We Travel Together scheme, equating to 572 million baht for the economy. The Tourism Authority of Thailand says 360 million of that is from tourist spending, while 221 million is from the government.

In contrast, the Tour Teaw Thai scheme, which offers a 40% subsidy on tour packages up to 5,000 baht per person, has yet to receive a single booking. The scheme currently only has 4 packages on offer, with TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn saying a complicated verification process is to blame for the low number of participating tour operators.

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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.

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