Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha is planning to discuss the reopening of pilot tourist provinces in Thailand during an online conference with the Center for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) tomorrow, June 4th.
The discussion will include the latest preparations to reopen and welcome vaccinated foreign tourists in the pilot provinces, including Phuket’s “Phuket Sandbox” project, as proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
Phuket and the Thai Tourism Authority are still planning to open to foreign vaccinated tourists on July 1st, although many details and requirements will need to be fleshed out over the next four weeks.
Other measures to stimulate the domestic economy and foreign investment among high-potential foreigners will also be mentioned, as well as investment measures to create incentives for real estate investors, Government Spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri told the press.
More than 500 hotels in Phuket are now ready to welcome vaccinated foreign tourists under the “Phuket Sandbox” project with Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA+) standards.
Kongsak Khupongsakorn, President of the Southern Thai Hotels Association, said that about 200-300 SHA+ hotels are already open and deployed with qualified employees. The other 400 hotels are in the procedure of applying the SHA+ standard, which will mark a cumulative number of about 500-600 hotels on the island to be open and qualified under the sanity and safety standards prior to the island reopening.
Kongsak told the associated press: “70 percent of the hotel’s employees must be vaccinated, according to the new SHA+ rules to build confidence for both entrepreneurs and foreign tourists. Therefore, the Southern Thai Hotels Association will work with Phuket authorities and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to make sure that all hotels applying for the SHA+ will have the majority of their employees to have two shots of Covid-19 vaccines.”
Meanwhile, Phoomkit Raktae-ngam, the President of Phuket Tourism Association, revealed after a meeting with the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand today, June 3rd, that the “Phuket Sandbox” is scheduled to be launch within 28 days but the relevant agencies have not yet been informed any precise procedures towards the local tourism and business sectors.
“Many questions have not yet been answered, whether it’s about the group of vaccinated tourists and their details of vaccination certification or brands of vaccination injections as well as the readiness of medical staff and supplies.”
“There are three responsible agencies in these matters, namely the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but none of them is able to provide resourceful information and is still unclear. Phuket authorities cannot answer such questions from foreign agencies either,” the President added.
TPN media notes that more information is due to be released in the near future, likely starting from tomorrow’s scheduled meeting with the Prime Minister.
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