High-level government visit, a sign of the importance of the program for the revitalization of the national tourism sector.
Bangkok, Thailand – HE General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand, paid an official visit to launch the long-awaited Phuket Sandbox program to reopen the island to tourism.
The Prime Minister has personally inspected the readiness and security measures in place at a number of key tourism-related sites. This included the main entry and exit points of Phuket International Airport and Thai Chatchai Pier, along the Sarasin Bridge, which connects the mainland, as well as the ‘Sandbox Operation Center of EOC Phuket tourism â.
Led by M. Narong Woonchiew, Governor of Phuket Province, the “EOC Phuket Tourism Sandbox Operation Center” manages the COVID-19 control and prevention measures in place around Phuket. It is connected to all immigration checkpoints on the island, to tourism stakeholders and to public services; such as hotels and hospitals, and the alert app.
It in turn is connected to the Royal Thai Government‘s Center for the Administration of the COVID-19 Situation (CCSA), which is responsible for national measures to control and prevent COVID-19.
General information about the Phuket Sandbox program; such as entry requirements, arrival procedures, hygiene measures and FAQs can be found here.
With the Phuket sandbox program in force, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects 100,000 foreign tourists to visit Phuket in the third quarter of 2021 from July to September, generating baht 8.9 billion in revenue for the local economy.
A number of major airlines including Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International (THAI) are already reconnecting Phuket with cities around the world like London, Frankfurt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore with direct flights.
The total number of flights in July 2021 is expected to be around 426, an average of 13 flights per day. For the month, there are 11,894 passengers with reservations in Phuket on six airlines split into 8,281 inbound passengers and 3,613 outbound passengers.
The Phuket Sandbox program is an important starting point in revitalizing Thailand’s wider tourism industry.
Phuket is the pilot destination for the subsequent reopening of other destinations in the country with similar non-quarantine requirements from Surat Thani province (Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao) on July 15, 2021.
It will be followed on September 1, 2021 with the reopening of Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Railay Beach), Phang Nga (Khao Lak and Ko Yao), Chiang Mai (Mueang District and Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and Doi Tao Districts ), Chon Buri (Pattaya, Bang Lamung and Sattahip districts) and Buri Ram (Mueang and Chang Arena district).
October 1, 2021 is the scheduled date for the reopening of Bangkok, Phetchaburi (Cha-Am) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin), with the rest of Thailand scheduled to reopen throughout the month.
Each destination will have its own requirements for visitors.