1,000 visitors to Samui since July 15

1,000 visitors to Samui since July 15

Most Phuket sandbox travelers

More than 1,000 travelers have entered Koh Samui since the launch of the Samui Plus Model program to reopen the island on July 15, Surat Thani Governor Witchawut Jinto said yesterday.

The program, which covers Koh Samui and the nearby popular islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, received foreign visitors primarily from the Phuket sandbox program. On Monday, the program welcomed 62 visitors, 45 of whom arrived from the Phuket sandbox.

Subsequent trips to Koh Samui from Phuket have been placed under the Phuket Extension Program.

Records show that so far 10,485 overnight stays of foreign visitors, who arrived in both the Samui Plus and Samui Extension programs, have been booked in Koh Samui, according to Mr Witchawut.

Since the launch of Samui Plus, the island has welcomed 1,058 visitors who have booked rooms at 15 hotels.

There have been 110 domestic flights that have transported visitors from Phuket or Suvarnabhumi airport since the Samui Plus program was unveiled.

The island has received a steady stream of hotel reservations, with tourists spending around 41 million baht on their trips around Koh Samui, according to the governor.

As part of Samui Plus, there were 117 arrivals from France, 96 from Germany, 95 from the United Kingdom, 34 from the United States, 32 from the Netherlands, 22 from Italy, 19 from Switzerland, 14 from Poland, 13 from Hong Kong and 11 from Japan. No infection was detected among the visitors.

Mr Witchawut said that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and related agencies are studying whether to expand the Samui Plus program to cover Khao Sok National Park and Rajjaprabha Dam in Surat Thani.

Detours are offered to tourists after a week’s stay on the island. Visitors can get to places of interest on sealed routes pre-established by tourism authorities, he said.

In Phuket, the number of daily Covid-19 cases is expected to exceed 200 for at least a week, according to Kusak Kukiatkul, head of the provincial public health office.

He said the new cases caused by the Delta variant were triggered by large clusters of infections detected during mass testing. The office estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 people are at risk of contracting the virus, adding that the infection curve is expected to drop after two weeks.

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