Phuket, one of Thailand’s most popular island destinations, is attempting to attract more affordable flights to the island province. The Phuket Tourist Association announced in a Facebook post that they had sent representatives to speak with the management of low-cost Saudi airline, Flynas.
On January 25, PTA representatives met with Flynas headquarters in Saudi Arabia. They presented reasons why Phuket would be an ideal place for Flynas to book direct flights.
The secretary-general and VP of the Phuket Tourism Association highlighted how popular Phuket has become with Saudis and other Middle Eastern visitors after restrictions were eased and regular flights re-started last year.
Kan Ekkavanich, the secretary-general, indicated that Flynas reacted favorably to the presentation. Kan said that Flynas is now seeking to acquire more planes and may launch direct flights by the middle of the year. This would correspond with the Saudi Arabia summer vacation season when many Saudis will be traveling.
Thailand and Saudi Arabia made amends for the ‘Blue Diamond Affair’ in 1989, in which a Thai cleaner stole diamonds from the Saudi prince and his wife. Relations between the two countries were reestablished and mended last year.
Saudi Arabia and Thailand have teamed up on a number of tourism programs. In June, Prime Minister Prayut declared that Saudi Arabian passport holders will be able to visit Thailand visa-free for 30 days.
In August, an exhibition commemorating Thai-Saudi partnership was staged in an Islamic center in Bangkok. The purpose of the exhibition was to educate the public about Saudi Arabia’s role in supporting Muslims across the world and its ties to Thailand. Ancient Islamic manuscripts were presented, and Thai-translated Qurans were distributed for free.
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