The COVID-19 pandemic has badly affected the global economy, most especially the tourism sector. And for destinations that are highly dependent on tourism, their only way to recover is reopen to tourists that are at least fully vaccinated. Phuket, an archipelago off the coast of southern Thailand, is taking this big step of accepting international travelers once again starting on July 1, as confirmed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
In a letter sent out to tourism stakeholders by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, it was announced that the Center for Economic Situation Administration appoved their proposed Phuket Sandbox Model. The plan stipulates that arriving tourists don't need to go through quarantine as long as they are fully vaccinated at least 14 days to one year before arrival, come from low- and medium-risk countries, and are staying in Phuket for at least seven nights before traveling to any other province in Thailand. They can stay less than seven days on the island as long as they're heading straight back home to their country or any other country. Tourists are also required to stay at Safety and Health Administration-accredited hotels.
The Tourism Council of Thailand, which represents tourism industry operators, also proposed the "one night, one dollar" campaign, which aims to offer discounted hotel to travelers. They're still awaiting approval; but once given the green light, rates for eligible rooms can go as low U.S. $1 (roughly P50). Hotel rooms in Phuket typically sell from 1,000 baht (roughly P1,500) to 3,000 baht (roughly P4,500) per night.
TAT also "reaffirmed" that the planned reopening is on schedule, as they come close to their target of vaccinating 70% of their people before accepting international travelers. This target is equal to 466,587 people. As of May 28, they have vaccinated 50% of the population since vaccine rollout started on April 22.
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*This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.