Following Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s announcement that Thailand would reopen in 120 days, the tourism industry has regained its momentum. The introduction of the Phuket Sandbox will pave the way for the Andaman Sandbox in August. Andaman Sandbox would connect tourism routes in Krabi and Phang Nga provinces.
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If everything goes well, the provinces around the Andaman Sea will be the next to reopen to international visitors. Phuket started its sandbox model on July 1, while Samui Plus was formally introduced last Thursday. On Wednesday, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the proposal for the Andaman Sandbox would be filed to the Centre for Economic Situation Administration for further evaluation.
Chuchart Oncharoen, head of Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Phangnga office, stated that if granted, tourists who have previously spent 7 days in Phuket and 7 days in Phangnga or Krabi would be eligible to visit Koh Yao, Koh Panyee, and the Khao Lak shoreline. Tourists who meet the eligibility criteria will be able to visit sites along a designated route from Ban Nam Khem in Khao Lak to Koh Yao Noi-Yai and Koh Panyee in Ao Phangnga National Park.
The visitors’ activities will be tracked for the duration of their mandatory 14-day stay using a tracker supplied by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the commercial sector – similar to that used in Phuket Sandbox. Additionally, the Safety & Health Administration (SHA) has accredited over 300 companies in the region that provide hospitality services, he added.
After a 14-day stay in Phuket, the first group of visitors under the Phuket Sandbox resumed their trip to Phangnga on Friday. Mr. Chuchart said that more visitors are anticipated in late October. Mr. Yuthasak said once the Andaman Sandbox is cleared, the Tourism Authority of Thailand would request approval from the cabinet for similar programs in Chiang Mai, Pattaya in Chon Buri, Buri Ram, Bangkok, Phetchaburi, and Prachuap Khiri Khan in preparation for the October reopening.
Source: Bangkok Post
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