Archive for the ‘Thai immigration’ Category

The Special Tourist Visa In Thailand Will Continue

October 3, 2021

The Thai Cabinet Committee approved the extension of the Special Tourist Visa in Thailand. This plan, which has already been in place for one year, will continue until at least September 30, 2022, and is intended to attract well-fearing foreign travellers to come to Thailand and spend big money while they’re here.
The Special Tourist Visa allows these elite travellers to stay between 90 and 270 days, which the Tourism Authority of Thailand hopes will attract big spenders to boost the Thai economy that has been so crippled since the Covid-19 epidemic began.
The idea of extending the Thai Special Tourist Visa was announced recently, but yesterday the Thai Cabinet Committee officially approved the extension. It has been in place for one year already, and will continue until at least September 30, 2022, and is intended to attract well-heeled foreign tourists to Thailand to spend big money while they’re on the island.
The Special Tourist Visa allows these elite travellers to stay between 90 and 270 days – 3 to 9 months – which the Tourism Authority of Thailand has hoped would draw big spenders to pump tourism revenue into the Thai economy that has been so lacking since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
By encouraging long-staying foreigners to boost the tourism economy, it could also boost the domestic economy, potentially creating jobs and income for locals and facilitating economic growth. The plan was enacted at the beginning of the stages of regrowing international tourism that came to a halt after Covid-19.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry reports that only 5,609 people travelled to Thailand on a long-stay tourist visa last year. However, officials claim that it generated over 1.2 billion baht in revenue for Thailand’s tourism industry. That equates to about 222,000 baht per traveller.
While the visa and extensions allow a stay of up to 270 days, the average stay for STV holders is around 90 days, according to a government spokesperson. Therefore, those attracted by the Special Tourist Visa spend about 2,500 baht a day on average.
Most of the tourists who entered Thailand under the visa scheme came from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, and Croatia. Most STV holders visited Bangkok, Surat Thani, Phuket, Udon Thani, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, and Rayong after undergoing quarantine.

Thai Bits: Flooding Coming In Bangkok Soon, Thai Supreme Court Ruling Helps Release 3 Foreigners

September 21, 2021

Storm Coming To Bangkok

Due to the torrential rainfall forecast for this week, the Meteorological Department has warned of the risk of flooding in Bangkok. The capital has been experiencing rain for three weeks in a row, so the water level in eastern Bangkok canals is already high. Aswin Kwanmuang, Bangkok’s governor, says water pumps are needed to drain canals, and rubbish and weeds need to be removed to improve drainage.
Thailand’s capital’s flood response center is now operational 24 hours a day in case of flooding, according to the Bangkok Post.. Additional water pumps have been installed in flood-prone areas. Recent flooding has been reported in the capital, according to the report.
A low-pressure area is now accelerating in the South China Sea and is expected to become a tropical cyclone as it approaches the coast of Vietnam, according to the Meteorological Department. There will be heavy rain in all parts of Thailand from today until Friday. In coastal areas, waves could rise to 2 meters during thundershowers, due to a monsoon trough in the lower North, Central Plains, and the East, as well as the southwest monsoon in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.

Foreign Couple and A Man Arrested on Durg Charges Have Been Released From Thai Prison Due Thai Supreme Court Ruling

An Australian and Thai couple, as well as an American man who was on death row in Bangkok for trafficking crystal methamphetamine, have been released from prison. The Sydney Morning Herald reports they were accused of smuggling half a tonne of crystal methamphetamine for the Hells Angels motorcycle gang in Thailand.
Luke Cook from Western Australia, 37, arrived in Sydney last week after being cleared by the Supreme Court. Tyler Gerard, from California, returned to the United States after being cleared by the Court.
Luke Cook, who ran a bar and guesthouse in Pattaya, has been pleading his innocence since he was jailed in 2017. His father has been campaigning for his release.
It was alleged that Luke Cook was paid $US10 million by the Hells Angels to smuggle 500 kilograms of methamphetamine aboard his yacht where Tyler Gerard was said to be working as a crew hand. Police believe Cook dropped the drugs overboard when a Thai navy vessel approached, and a package containing over 50 kilograms of meth was found on a beach in Chon Buri.
The Melbourne-based Capital Punishment Justice Project has backed the defense lawyers and argued it was a setup and the men are innocent.
According to a press release published on the Pattaya News, Thailand Bail Legal Services announced that the case has been dismissed by the Supreme Court and that both Luke Cook and Tyler Gerard are out of prison and back home.

Thai Government Has Come Up With New Stimulus Package For Expats That Creates A New Ten-Year Visa And New Taxes For Alcohol And CIgars

September 20, 2021

According to the government’s economic stimulus package and investment promotion program, the Customs Department plans to reduce the duty on alcoholic beverages and cigars by 50% for five years.
Director-general Patchara Anuntasilpa said the cuts are in line with the cabinet resolution of Sept 14 concerning plans to revive the post-Covid-19 economy by attracting rich foreigners and highly skilled professionals.
Over the next five years, the scheme is expected to attract more than a million qualified people to Thailand and generate about a trillion baht. Import duties will be lowered as part of the mix.
When staying and working here, the group is expected to spend on average 1 million baht per person per year.
The package includes a 10-year Thai visa for approved special visitors along with their spouses and children, the same income tax rates as Thai citizens, a tax exemption on overseas income, and the right to own property.
Patchara said approximately 30% of products would be affected by the planned cuts, and ministerial regulations will be announced after the changes have been made. The department is also preparing to revise its procedures for customs clearance of personal items for passengers on arrival.
Roengrudee Patanavanicha, a researcher on tobacco control, said the move by the Customs Department caught her off guard because the new excise tax structure for cigarettes will take effect next month.
Cigarettes will be subject to a flat tax rate of 40% regardless of their retail price under the new system.
The new tax could reduce smoking among teenagers and generate revenue for the state.
As a result of high cigarette prices, the smuggling of contraband cigarettes will not increase, she said.
“Lax law enforcement, an inefficient tax system, and tobacco industry intervention contribute to the problem,” she said.

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Despite Delays In Phuket Sandbox Plan, TAT Wants To Move On To Phuket 7+7 Plan

August 16, 2021

Although many of the original Sandbox plans have been delayed as Covid-19 outbreaks spread and domestic travel has been mostly shut down, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) hopes to launch its 7+7 model for travellers to stay in Phuket for one week before continuing on to a handful of other destinations.
It is proposed to allow arrivals to spend 7 days in Phuket and then spend the remainder of their arrival observation period at one of the 9 designated locations that the TAT has selected and is seeking approval from the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration.
The Thai Anti-Terrorist Team expects to launch this 7+7 plan during August, despite Covid-19 infections consistently exceeding 20,000 per day nationally and 500 per week in the Phuket Sandbox.
Surat Thani would be the first and farthest region to be included in the scheme. With the Samui Plus programme launching on July 15, albeit to paltry numbers, and flights scheduled from Phuket Sandbox to Samui Airport, opening the 7+7 scheme to the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao makes sense.
It makes sense to expand the Sandbox into the two popular holiday regions just outside of Phuket with easy transportation to each. A week after arriving in Phuket, Koh Phi Phi is opened for international travellers, along with Railay Beach and Koh Ngai in Krabi province. In the northern province of Phang Nga, Khao Lak, Kho Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi will be reopened for travellers for their second week in Thailand.
The Phuket Sandbox has so far been a success, with nearly 20,000 arrivals and more than 370,000 hotel room nights booked through September, according to a secretary for the Prime Minister’s office. More travellers come from the US, UK, Israel, and Germany. Bangkok. Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Chon Buri have been the top 5 destinations after Phuket.

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Thai Bits: Many Global Websites Have Become Thai VAT payers, Still Low Demand For Hotels Due To COVID-19

July 26, 2021

About 20 Large International Websites Will Start Paying Thai VAT

Around 20 large overseas online platform operators plan to register as value-added tax (VAT) payers in Thailand, according to the director-general of the Revenue Department Ekniti Nitithanprapas.
The move follows the enforcement of the e-service tax law from Sept. 1, which will require overseas businesses providing online services in Thailand to register for 7% VAT liability if their annual income exceeds 1.8 million baht.
Businesses providing download services for movies, games, stickers, brokerage services, and advertisinHotel demand in the U.S. remains weak due to the steady rise in new infections, forcing hoteliers to hope for a big reopening scheme for foreign visitors to add to travel demand.
Domestic tourist arrivals to Phuket, Krabi, and Phangnga have dropped sharply as a result of stricter travel restrictions to contain the outbreak, said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association (THA).
The Phuket sandbox scheme, which attracted around 10,000 tourists in the first month, had a limited impact given that the island is used to welcoming one million tourists a month. The hotel industry is looking forward to an improved situation starting in October.
Phuket’s 7+7 sandbox extension, which will allow tourists to stay for seven days before visiting other islands, will bring more travelers and income to the Andaman islands, Kongsak said.
If the reopening plan moves forward and Thailand can control the outbreak more effectively, leading to the EU placing Thailand back on the safe travel list, we could see a surge of 20-30% in demand by the end of the year, he said.
The occupancy rate for Samui Plus reopenings in June dropped to 6.64% amid the latest outbreak, according to Ruengnam Chaikwang, president of THA’s southern chapter for the east coast.
Tourists are deterred by the quarantine requirement of spending seven days in quarantine facilities, Ruengnam said. If the quarantine requirement is not lifted, travel agents are hesitant to launch marketing campaigns.
According to THA’s eastern chapter president Phisut Sae-Khu, Chon Buri’s recent downgrade to a dark red zone led to a collapse of domestic tourism.
He urged the government to accelerate its vaccination plan for “Pattaya Moves On” since only 20% of the target population has been vaccinated. According to Phisut, operators are negotiating with the Chon Buri Provincial Public Health Office to procure 50,000-60,000 vaccine doses for frontline tourism workers.
The reopening plan set for Sept 1, 2021, “Charming Chiang Mai”, is also facing a vaccine shortage, according to La-Iad Bungsrithong, president of THA’s northern chapter. Currently, only 18% of residents are vaccinated. g are liable for VAT payments.
According to him, the department has already developed an online portal for operators to register and pay for VAT easily.
Ekniti said that most foreign online businesses are compliant with the law.
As a result of the pandemic shifting traffic to online platforms, the department expects the tax revenue from the e-service levy to exceed 5 billion baht per year.
Operators estimate how much tax they should pay under the tax law.
Through international cooperation among countries on tax payment records, the department examines their VAT payment after an audit.
Approximately 60 countries have adopted this e-service tax.
Organic laws in e-service tax law are being pushed by the department.
Details of the organic bills have been approved by the cabinet and are being scrutinized by the Council of State.
A new e-service tax law is part of the country’s ongoing tax reform to increase revenue and ensure fair treatment for all.

Phuket Sandbox Plan Did Not Help Demand For Hotels
Hotel demand in the U.S. remains weak due to the steady rise in new infections, forcing hoteliers to hope for a big reopening scheme for foreign visitors to add to travel demand.
Domestic tourist arrivals to Phuket, Krabi, and Phangnga have dropped sharply as a result of stricter travel restrictions to contain the outbreak, said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association (THA).
The Phuket sandbox scheme, which attracted around 10,000 tourists in the first month, had a limited impact given that the island is used to welcoming one million tourists a month. The hotel industry is looking forward to an improved situation starting in October.
Phuket’s 7+7 sandbox extension, which will allow tourists to stay for seven days before visiting other islands, will bring more travelers and income to the Andaman islands, Kongsak said.
If the reopening plan moves forward and Thailand can control the outbreak more effectively, leading to the EU placing Thailand back on the safe travel list, we could see a surge of 20-30% in demand by the end of the year, he said.
The occupancy rate for Samui Plus reopenings in June dropped to 6.64% amid the latest outbreak, according to Ruengnam Chaikwang, president of THA’s southern chapter for the east coast.
Tourists are deterred by the quarantine requirement of spending seven days in quarantine facilities, Ruengnam said. If the quarantine requirement is not lifted, travel agents are hesitant to launch marketing campaigns.
According to THA’s eastern chapter president Phisut Sae-Khu, Chon Buri’s recent downgrade to a dark red zone led to a collapse of domestic tourism.
He urged the government to accelerate its vaccination plan for “Pattaya Moves On” since only 20% of the target population has been vaccinated. According to Phisut, operators are negotiating with the Chon Buri Provincial Public Health Office to procure 50,000-60,000 vaccine doses for frontline tourism workers.
The reopening plan set for Sept 1, 2021, “Charming Chiang Mai”, is also facing a vaccine shortage, according to La-Iad Bungsrithong, president of THA’s northern chapter. Currently, only 18% of residents are vaccinated.

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Thai Bits: Thai Government Starts New COVID-19 Services For Elderly Expats, New Lockdown Could Hurt Thai GDP

July 23, 2021

Thai Government Has Launched COVID-19 Vaccinations Services For Elderly Expats

In Thailand, the Disease Control Department, the Central Vaccination Centre, and the Foreign Affairs Ministry have launched Covid-19 vaccination services for elderly foreigners.
From Monday at Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok, the ministry’s Consular Affairs Department will offer mass vaccinations to foreigners living in Thailand.
Foreigners over 75 who have not received a jab can come to Gates 2, 3, and 4 from 9 am to 4 pm for vaccinations, according to the departments.
Passports and proof of residence, such as a visa or work permit, are required.
Pre-registration is required for those aged 60–74 residing in Bangkok and the surrounding five provinces (Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, and Samut Sakhon), and who have never received a vaccine.
Upon completing registration, individuals will receive an appointment notification and additional information via SMS or email within two days.
As of July 22, 2021, at 1 pm, 1,966 foreigners aged 60-74 had registered for vaccination.
Tanee Sangrat, the ministry’s spokesman, tweeted that this vaccination drive is only for those over 60 years of age. Many foreigners under the age of 60 showed up at the vaccination center, he said.

New COVID-19 Measures Could Hurt The GDP In Thailand

The Bank of Thailand predicts the government’s tougher measures to contain new infections will reduce economic activity by 0.8 to 2 percentage points.
In the best-case scenario, GDP would drop by only 0.8 percentage points, said Chayawadee Chai-Anant, senior director for the economic and policy department.
The assessment was made on July 16 and is based on the effectiveness of lockdown measures.
If containment measures are highly effective and new infections decline by 40%, the outbreak should be contained in August and the government can relax the measures by the middle of August, according to the central bank. Economic activity would contract by 0.8 percentage points in this scenario.
Unless lockdown measures are more effective and new infections drop by only 20%, the government would need to maintain tougher measures until the end of the year, keeping more people at home. Economic activity would contract by 2 percentage points in this scenario.
Chayawadee stated that the Monetary Policy Committee will continue to discuss growth projections for this year and 2022.
As a result of new government measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, including curfews and lockdowns, economic activity has slowed across the country.
Despite the containment measures for the third-wave outbreak, economic activity has fallen to almost the same level as in April last year, when the government implemented lockdown measures nationwide.
In 13 provinces, the government has imposed curfews and other tight restrictions.
The curfew from 9 pm-4 am and other restrictions have been in force since July 19 in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, and Nakhon Pathom, as well as the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala.
Chon Buri, Chachoengsao, and Ayutthaya provinces were also placed under lockdown.
Among the restrictions are the closing of all stores in malls at 8 pm except for those deemed essential, such as supermarkets, and those selling medical equipment and communication equipment.
Restaurants, wet markets, and convenience stores must close between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. as part of the ban on dining in.
In its June 22 report, the central bank estimated that the Delta variant would spread into restricted areas and that the government would gradually relax containment measures in the second half of the year.
Chayawadee said fiscal policy plays a key role in sustaining economic momentum.
In 2020, government subsidy measures through Finance Ministry packages led to a marginal contraction of 1% in domestic consumption, she said.
According to Chayawadee, domestic consumption would have contracted 6.3% without the fiscal measures.

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The FIrst Expats To Arrive in Phuket Under The Sandbox Are Interviewed

July 3, 2021

According to the local tourism office, the first group of foreign tourists to arrive on Phuket under the sandbox tourism program enjoyed their stay on the island.,

According to Nanthasiri Ronsiri, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Phuket office, Israeli tourists who visited the Old Town on the island’s first day of reopening were impressed by the locals and the food.
Nathasiri said that the group, including Israeli tourists, tour groups, and members of the press, will spend a week in Phuket and visit many islands and communities.
A community leader in Phuket’s Old Town, Somyot Pathan, said tourists brought joy to residents, praising them for adhering to social-distancing measures.
Somyot reports that tourists from Dubai visited the Old Town recently.
Nanthasiri estimates that Phuket welcomed 2,435 tourists recently.
On Thursday, the first day of the reopening, 326 passengers landed on four flights from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Singapore. On Friday, about 500 people were expected to arrive.Phuket Sandbox is part of the government’s plan to reopen the kingdom to foreign tourists without requiring them to undergo quarantine.
Visitors with vaccinations must stay in Phuket for 14 days before traveling to other provinces.
On July 15, 2021, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao will open their doors to foreign tourists without quarantine requirements. Phuket’s postcard-perfect beaches were visited by travelers within 24 hours of receiving a Covid-19 test result.
They were the first people to arrive in the country. Sigal Baram, visiting with her husband and friends from Israel, said, “This is the perfect place to just relax and clean our minds, ou heads, after a long time.”
The ‘Phuket Sandbox’ initiative allows fully vaccinated tourists to move freely on the island without being quarantined, although masks are required in most public areas.
Local street vendors said they had not been affected by the return of tourists, despite the fact that hotels and restaurants welcomed them back.
It is unlikely that street vendors will get money from overseas tourists… the money will instead go to hotels and restaurants, said Yupin Pap, a massage therapist who lost her job during the pandemic and became a street vendor selling food on the beach.
Last year, Thailand lost 160 billion baht in tourism revenues as foreign arrivals plummeted 83%.
Bangkok was particularly hard hit by job losses and business closures.
“I see the shops closed, which is a big change from before,” said Omar Alraeesi, who visits Phuket every year from the United Arab Emirates.
There were millions of people visiting Phuket every year before the pandemic, and the government and industry hope the reopening will help save its battered economy.

Vaccinated Expats Can Now Come To Phuket Without Being Quarantined

July 2, 2021

For the first time in over 15 months, Thailand’s popular resort island of Phuket is allowing vaccinated international travelers to enter without quarantine restrictions.
On July 1, at around 11 a.m., 25 passengers arrived at Phuket International Airport on a direct flight from Abu Dhabi. It was the first of four flights due to arrive on Thursday, carrying approximately 400 vaccinated tourists from Doha, Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi as part of the new “Phuket Sandbox” program.
For the first time in over 15 months, Thailand’s popular resort island of Phuket is allowing vaccinated international travelers to enter without quarantine restrictions.
On July 1, at around 11 a.m., 25 passengers arrived at Phuket International Airport on a direct flight from Abu Dhabi. It was the first of four flights due to arrive on Thursday, carrying approximately 400 vaccinated tourists from Doha, Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi as part of the new “Phuket Sandbox” program.
The July 1 opening is viewed as largely symbolic, and not expected to lead to a windfall in tourism numbers.
Phiphat estimates about 100,000 international tourists will arrive in Phuket during the first three months of reopening, generating around 9 billion baht in revenue.
Off the island, the country continues to battle its third and worst Covid-19 wave since the start of the pandemic. On Thursday, Thailand reported a record-high 57 Covid-19 deaths and 5,533 new cases, mostly in Bangkok.
The total death toll stands at 2,080 since the start of the pandemic.
However, Phiphat says “Phuket is currently perfectly fit for travel” despite the rise in overall coronavirus cases in Thailand.
“If you look at the nationwide infection number, we would say we are not ready. If you focus only on Phuket, where we have laid our groundwork for more than three months, I would say that Phuket is 100% ready,” he said.
The reopening plan was reliant on efforts to vaccinate 70% of the island’s residents. More than 80% of the island’s population have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and about 65% were fully vaccinated as of June 30, according to Phuket’s public relations office.
Domestic travelers entering Phuket must have received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine or two doses of other brands, or have recovered from Covid-19 within 90 days.
Otherwise, they need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test conducted within seven days prior to their arrival.
these steps were taken to prevent infections from spreading to the island, with officials threatening to postpone Phuket’s reopening if daily Covid-19 cases rose into double digits on the island.
Phiphat says, if successful, officials will use the Phuket trial as a blueprint to open nine more popular tourist destinations on October 1: Bangkok, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Petchaburi, Prachuap Kiri Khan, Phang Nga, Krabi, Surat Thani and Buriram.
Currently, Bangkok and five other provinces are under coronavirus restrictions for 30 days that came into effect on June 28 following a rise in Covid-19 cases.
Outside of Phuket, all incoming travelers must quarantine for 14 days in an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility.
For those who do wish to fly into Phuket, a list of conditions must be met.
Only travelers coming from pre-approved countries or territories are permitted to enter, and are required to stay in an accredited hotel for 14 days before traveling elsewhere in the country.
Visitors must apply for a Certificate of Entry. They will also need to provide proof of an insurance policy that covers treatment for Covid-19 up to the cost of $100,000, a negative PCR test was taken within 72 hours of departure and a certificate of vaccination against Covid-19 with an approved vaccine administered no less than 14 days before their travel date.
Upon entering the country, travelers need to go through a series of screening checkpoints at the airport and will be subjected to a Covid-19 swab test. They will then need to await the results at their hotel before they are permitted to travel freely on the island. On day seven of their visit, they’ll be required to undergo a second Covid-19 test.
A full list of requirements can be found on the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s website.

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The Phuket COVID-19 Sandbox Program Starts Today

July 1, 2021

On July 1, 2021, the Phuket Tourism Sandbox, a pilot phase of Thailand’s ambitious tourism reopening plan, will open on the resort island amid hope and fear.

Many businesses rely heavily on tourism to boost their profit margins, but locals fear that the pro-tourism program may result in a new outbreak of Covid-19.

In the third quarter of this year from July to September, Phuket is expected to attract over 100,000 foreign tourists, generating about 8.9 billion baht in tourism revenue.

Four hundred twenty-six passengers and three thousand sixteen hundred outbound travellers will use 426 flights in July. Anucha Burapachaisri, a government spokesman, said the southern island province will average 13 flights per day.

According to Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), 249 tourists are scheduled to arrive in Thailand Thursday on flights from Israel, Abu Dhabi and Qatar under the Phuket Sandbox programme.

He said the tourists will remain in Phuket for at least 14 days, during which they will undergo two more Covid-19 tests to ensure they are free of Coronavirus.

Phuket hopes to strike a balance between driving the economy with tourism and controlling the spread of Covid-19 from July 1, according to provincial governor Narong Wunsiew.

According to him, foreign visitors arriving in Phuket under the Phuket Sandbox programme are not the ones worrying the province when it comes to outbreak containment. Those who will arrive in the province by land from within Thailand.

The Chatchai security checkpoint, the main Covid-19 checkpoint on the road leading to Phuket, still needs more staff and technology to ensure that everyone entering the island is thoroughly screened, he said.

“Only those with proof of vaccination against Covid-19 will be allowed into Phuket,” he said.

Under the tourism sandbox programme, Patong beach appears to be the most popular destination for foreign tourists.

He said 1,671 visitors had booked 383 rooms at hotels in the Patong beach area.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will visit Phuket on July 1, 2021.

On arrival at Phuket international airport, he will greet and welcome foreign tourists and visit the security checkpoint.

Local health group president Manot Saithong said that according to an online survey of 1,112 residents, the most common concern is that tourists under the tourism sandbox programme could bring a more virulent variant of the coronavirus into the province and cause a new outbreak.

Foreign tourists also have doubts about whether they will strictly follow the control measures imposed on them by Covid-19, Manot said.

Thailand has also raised doubts over the effectiveness of Covid-19 screening among Thai tourists, he said, adding that if a new outbreak occurs in Phuket, young people will be affected since they are the only group of the population without vaccination.

Don Limnanthaphisit, president of a club of residents in Phuket’s old town, has called for stricter Covid-19 screening at all schools for students who may have contracted the virus from their parents who might have contracted it from tourists.

Thanusak Phuengdet, president of Phuket’s Chamber of Commerce, estimates that 13 billion baht will be generated in tourism-related income if all 100,000 foreign tourists who have already booked their visits to Phuket in the next three months actually come, he said.

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Thai PM Wants To Re-Open Country To Tourists In 120 Days, Thai Poll Disagrees

June 28, 2021

Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll, has conducted an opinion survey that shows the majority of people believe reopening the country in 120 days is not feasible due to the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The online poll was conducted between June 21-24, 2021, on 3,320 people across the country to compile their opinions on the Thai PM’s announcement that the country would be reopened in 120 days amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

When asked if it would be possible to reopen the country within 120 days, 39.88% said this was unlikely, and 21.64% said it was impossible. In contrast, 30.26% thought it might be possible, and 8.22% were confident it could happen.

58.22% of respondents disagreed with the announcement, 25.90% agreed, and 15.88% were uncertain.

Asked whether they would accept a higher risk of Covid-19 reopening the country in 120 days, 51.05% said “no”; 26.93% said “yes”; and 22.02% were uncertain.

Asked what concerns them about the pledge to reopen the country in 120 days, respondents were allowed to select more than one concern:

-78.07% expressed concern about new variants of the Covid-19;

  • 71.18% expected more clusters of infections; and
  • 68.41% expected a new wave of the pandemic.

When asked what should be done to be able to reopen the country in 120 days, respondents said:

  • 85.12% said vaccinations must be accelerated;
  • 77.06% quarantine and suppression of illegal border crossers must be tightened;
  • 76.53% Increase the number of vaccine brands imported to adjust vaccination administration;
  • 71.78% vaccine distribution must be expedited; and
  • 54.75% case-finding needs to be stepped up to prevent Covid-19 from spreading.

If asked what benefits reopening would have, regardless of whether they agreed with the 120-day schedule, the answers were:

  • 84.04% believe it could boost the economy;
  • 61.73% believed it could accelerate vaccinations; and
  • 50.10% believed it could draw tourists from abroad.