The paradise island of Phuket welcomes the first tourists under the Sandbox programme, especially the vaccinated travellers who do not need to quarantine. Phuket’s longstanding popularity among travellers around the world makes it the ideal destination to restart Thailand’s tourism industry. After Phuket, other places like Samui, Krabi, Phang Nga and Chiang Mai are planned to soon follow.
H.E. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said “The reopening of Phuket signifies a crucial step forward in the revitalisation of Thailand’s tourism industry with the island serving as a pilot destination. It is indeed wonderful to be welcoming visitors once again, and they can rest assured that their safety and well-being is of utmost importance to Thailand.”
Much has been done safety-wise in the lead-up to the Phuket Sandbox launch such as the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration or SHA certification scheme that was introduced in May 2020, which is certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
There are currently well over 1300 hotels, restaurants, activities, attractions, shops, and other venues and businesses across Phuket that are SHA certified, meaning they have the required safety and hygiene measures to control COVID-19.
More and more of these are also becoming SHA Plus certified, meaning that at least 70% of their employees are fully vaccinated.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “It is with great pleasure we can now welcome the world back to Phuket. Fully vaccinated visitors can once again enjoy the famed beaches, warm hospitality, and many other attractions that have made Phuket one of the world’s favourite destinations.”
Currently, major airlines, including Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International (THAI), are flying direct to Phuket from cities like London, Frankfurt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore.