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42,000 Tourists Visited Phuket Since Sandbox Launched – TAT

Published: October 7, 2021 at 10:21 pm

phuket sandbox

TAT reported last October 5 that 42,000 visitors visited Phuket between July 1 until October 5.  The majority of the participants came from the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, France, and Germany. The arrivals fell short of targets. “We set the target at 100,000 visitors because we thought we would have both short-and long-haul visitors. But so far most of our visitors are from the United States and Europe,” said TAT Phuket Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri. Despite the shortfall in expected foreign visitors, she remained optimistic. “We see good signs that tourism in Phuket is picking up.”

The UK government has significantly decreased the list of countries where British nationals are warned against traveling. On the other hand, Thailand remains on the”Red” list, with Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa. The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office) recommends against all but necessary travel to the whole country of Thailand based on the current risk assessment for COVID-19, an official statement said.

Today, the COVID-19 Situation Administration Center will record 11,200 new cases, and 113 recent fatalities as new infections and deaths continue at their current rates.

Phuket serves as a barometer for other tourist-oriented areas like Samui, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phang Nga, and perhaps even metro Bangkok. TAT statistics do not provide a breakdown of how many foreign visitors are merely locals returning to Thailand and taking advantage of beach quarantines in Phuket before going home, rather than spending 14 days in a Bangkok hotel room. Noticeably missing from the 42,000 are significant numbers of Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese, who together account for the vast majority of tourists to Thailand during regular seasons. Other TAT officials previously projected that the nation would get one million visitors by year’s end, with 500,00 coming this month alone. Thailand’s bars, pubs, and “night entertainment” establishments remain closed, and alcohol sales are prohibited across the country.

Merck logo

For the third day in a row, public health authorities are promoting a plan to acquire Merck’s Molnupiravir, the first antiviral medication designed specifically for COVID-19. The medication has not yet been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration. Each day, less – not more – information on pricing and quantity is published. We are unable to provide more information on the amount to be purchased since it may impact the company’s quota for ASEAN members. However, I am sure that we will get it at a fair price, Dr. Somsak Akkasilp, Director of the Department of Medical Services, said. Additionally, Somsak said that Thai authorities are “in the process of negotiating a contract” with Merck to undertake studies to establish if Molnupiravir may be used as a preventive dosage to avoid infection.

Daily government updates, packed with hopeful but increasingly ambiguous promises about the imminent arrival of a cutting-edge pharmaceutical to fight COVID-19, seem to serve political objectives more than public health ones. Following the unsuccessful attempt to acquire effective vaccinations, public confidence in the government has reached an all-time low. Thailand sank from being one of the best-prepared nations in Asia to handle the COVID-19 pandemic when it began in January 2020 to one of the region’s worst, owing mainly to persistent vaccine shortages caused by official arrogance, bad planning, and bureaucratic obfuscation.

hotel houses by the road
Hotel houses by the road

While authorities from the Tourism Authority of Thailand continue to think that millions of international visitors are on their way to Thailand, local hotels have adopted a more realistic stance. They are concentrating on domestic travel for the rest of the peak tourism season. Michael Marshall, Minor Hotels’ chief of commercial operations; Garth Simmons, Accor’s chief executive for Southeast Asia, Japan, and South Korea; and Wallapa Traisorat, Asset World Corp’s chief executive and president, stated that their respective organizations were launching domestic tourism packages. Additionally, the executives warned that continuing to close Bangkok would jeopardize any potential increases in tourist income. “As major markets in Asia remain firmly closed to foreign travel, hoteliers’ trust in robust visitor flows to [Bangkok] has dwindled,” Supawan Tanomkieatipume, deputy managing director of the Twin Towers Hotel Bangkok, said.

While some optimism is to be anticipated, if not needed, on the part of government tourism authorities, the growing disparity between Blue Sky forecasts of millions of international visitors and the paltry number of travelers who arrive is striking. The nation is just now reopening, and although 14-day quarantines are no longer necessary, seven-day detentions remain costly and burdensome. Additionally, the Certificate of Entry and a host of bureaucratic barnacles remain firmly attached to entry criteria, which, along with the conservative prohibition of alcohol and nightlife, have certainly deterred a large number of potential tourists.


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