Thailand launches Phuket Sandbox 7+7 to boost tourism in country


This photo taken on Aug 14, 2021 shows a woman offering drinks to tourists on a beach in Phuket as tourists take advantage of the "Phuket Sandbox" programme for visitors fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus. - AFP

BANGKOK, Aug 17 (Bernama): Starting onn Tuesday (Aug 17) today, fully vaccinated tourists to Phuket can stay in the resort island for first seven days and travel to tourist destinations in three southern Thai provinces namely Surat Thani, Krabi, Phang Nga for another seven days.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs' deputy spokesman Natapanu Nopakun said Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Monday had approved the Phuket Sandbox 7+7 proposal effective today for fully vaccinated international travellers from low and medium Covid-19 risk countries.

Under the Phuket Sandbox 7+7, after the first seven days in Phuket, tourists can travel south to nine tourist destinations namely Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in Surat Thani; Khao Lak, Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi in Phang Nga; Koh Phi Phi, Railay Beach, and Koh Ngai in Krabi.

"This extension allow travelers who joined the programme to stay in Phuket for the first seven days and after receiving the Transfer Form from authority, they can travel to other tourist destinations in the southern provinces of Thailand.

"The extension part will be allowed for travelers on the sealed routes and by specific vehicles only,” he said at a press conference.

Thailand launched "Phuket Sandbox” starting July 1, where fully vaccinated international travellers can visit Phuket under several conditions, and since the launch the island witnessed a total of 14,055 international arrivals generating about 829 million baht in turnover.

In a statement, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said the largest source of international travellers to Phuket were 1,802 from the United States, United Kingdom (1,588), Israel (1,455), Germany (847) and 839 (France).

"TAT expects 100,000 foreign tourists to visit Phuket in the third quarter this year (July-September) and inject some 8.9 billion baht of revenue into the local economy,” it said.

The arrivals for July saw 190,843 room nights booked at Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus certified hotels. August has a further 109,694 room nights in advance bookings and September another 9,182 room nights, altogether amounting to 309,719 room nights for the July-September period.

-- BERNAMA

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