Phuket Welcomes First Tourists Today as Thailand Restarts International Tourism
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to confirm that the island of Phuket, the Pearl of the Andaman, reopened to international travellers from today, Thursday 1st July 2021, in the first step to restarting tourism to Thailand. Fully vaccinated travellers* can stay quarantine free as part of the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ model. Re-opening details for the island of Koh Samui are due to be announced in the coming weeks.
Thailand’s reopening strategy will continue to roll out from July with Koh Samui next and in August, under an ‘Extension’ concept, tourist favourites such as Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Khao Lak and Koh Yao will start to welcome visitors again.
From September, further destinations and routes will start to welcome travellers including Chiang Mai in the north and Pattaya on the east coast. From October onwards, Thailand aims to open Bangkok and nearby Hua Hin & Cha-Am. The gradual reopening of Thailand’s 76 provinces will align with the country's vaccination program, ensuring locals have been inoculated, and low case rates.
For full details of entry requirements and how to apply for entry to Thailand visit Tourism Thailand's website for a step by step guide.
*Travellers must travel from countries/territories (list) approved by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), per the guidelines of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), as proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MoTS) and TAT, and must have been in the said countries for no less than 21 days before their travel date – except Thai nationals and foreign expatriates returning from overseas.
**Non-vaccinated travellers must still quarantine for 14 nights in an Alternative State Quarantine (ALQ) hotel.
Phuket launches Thailand’s first ‘Digital Yacht Quarantine’ project
The initiative is meant to stimulate yacht tourism to Phuket and allow visitors to conveniently complete their 14-day quarantine requirement in the comfort on their own yacht.
Digital Yacht Quarantine is based around smart watch health trackers using NB-IoT technology that will allow Thai medical officials to monitor the health of visitors up to 10 kilometres offshore. After arrival, visitors are to liaise with a representative from the Thai Yacht Business Association (TYBA), which will act as the coordinating agent between the Thai health authorities to arrange COVID-19 RT-PCR testing.
After testing, visitors will then be fitted with one of two smart watch health trackers, either the Active 10+ or the Smartwatch Active 30+ models, developed by PMH Holding Company Limited (POMO House).
The smart watch health tracker must be worn by visitors at all the times to measure the pulse, blood pressure, and body temperature. The information will be monitored in real time by relevant Thai health authorities via a dashboard at the Ao Po Pier. Both devises can also send out an emergency SOS signal if visitors need urgent medical assistance.
After the 14-day quarantine period is complete, all data will be analysed again before allowing visitors to embark and go ashore in Phuket.
Thailand first launched the yacht quarantine in October 2020, with no COVID-19 infections detected since then and expects the expanded digital project could attract more than 100 yachts and 300 to 500 visitors during 2021.
The Digital Yacht Quarantine project is led by Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), together with Advanced Info Service (AIS), PMH Holding Company Limited (POMO House), PMH-service providers, and the Thai Yacht Business Association (TYBA). The expanded project endeavours to build confidence in the Thai public health sector and create additional arrival and revenue streams for Phuket tourism operators as the destination gradually reopens to more international visitors.
Phuket rolls out new events and festivals for 2021
Leveraging on Phuket’s outstanding beaches and charming Sino-Portuguese buildings as well as popular local delicacies, the events and festivals include:
Seafood festival: The first of the “Roi Rim Lay Phuket Festival” was held on 26-28 February, 2021, at Saphan Hin. The event featured more than 170 stalls, mostly offering renowned local delicacies, fresh and cooked seafood, as well as agricultural and tourism-related products at reasonable prices.
The next “Roi Rim Lay Phuket Festival” will be held at Patong Beach on 19-21 March, 2021, and at Laguna Grove in Cherng Talay on 10-12 April, 2021.
Sports event: The island’s first-ever Amazing Thailand Phuket Surfskate Series 2021 was launched on 20 February, 2021, at Phuket Old Town. Next events of this fast-growing street surfing sport are scheduled for 20 March at Kata Beach, 23 May at Karon Beach, 14 August at Patong Beach, and 13 November at Surin Beach.
Arts event: The Kata Karon Hotel Association has initiated the “Art Vasion” project featuring street art paintings by 35 artists from Phuket and Bangkok to create new ‘check-in’ points for visitors. The paintings can be found at five key locations: the canal-side area between Club Med Phuket and OZO Phuket; the beachside alleyway near The Boathouse Phuket; Kata’s beachfront wall near the Surf House Phuket; the wall in front of The SIS Kata, and The Pizza Company’s wall.
In addition, Laguna Phuket is staging the ‘Revive 555 Festival’, a series of events starting from 31 March to 18 April, 2021 (more details about the Revive 555 Festival here).
Tourism operators in Phuket are also offering special discounts and privileges at www.phuketgreattime.com.
Cabinet approves ‘special tourist visa’ for long-staying visitors
The policy is expected to become effective after the official announcement and will be available until 30 September 2021.
TAT Governor urges industry patience and solidarity to overcome the COVID-19 crisis
For further information on Covid-19, please visit www.sacoronavirus.co.za
Thailand allows resumption of inflight services on domestic routes
Thailand ranked number one on the Global COVID-19 Recovery Index
– Thailand has ranked number one in the world out of 184 countries for its ongoing COVID-19 recovery effort, according to the Global COVID-19 Index (GCI).
Published on 28 July, Thailand received an index score of 82.06, putting it on top of the global chart as an example of best practices in tackling the ongoing global pandemic.
As of today, the number of confirmed cases in Thailand stood at 3,298, with 129 currently being treated, while 3,111 have recovered and 58 have died. South Korea ranked second with a recovery index of 81.09, followed by Latvia (80.81), Malaysia (79.37), Taiwan (78.94) and New Zealand (78.55). Australia, which used to be number one in previous months, fell to sixth, with a recovery index of 77.18.
In the previous GCI ranking published on 14 June, Thailand came in second for its COVID-19 recovery work among 184 nations across the globe. The GCI bases 70 per cent of its calculation on big data and daily analysis from 184 countries, while the other 30 per cent comes from the Global Health Security Index, an assessment of global health security in 195 countries prepared by the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security in the United States.For more information visit: https://www.tatnews.org/2020/07/thailand-ranked-number-one-on-the-global-covid-19-recovery-index/