The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has released the number of arrivals and revenue generated by the successful ‘Phuket Sandbox’ initiative.
Between 1st July and 15th August Phuket has welcomed back 292 international flights transporting 21,545 travelers, according to Minister of Transport Saksayam Chidchob.
The Minister also reported that 74% of the passengers were carried on by Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, and Thai Airways. Most of these flights originated in Singapore.
Other commercial routes currently operating to and from Thailand include Thai Airways International (THAI) from Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Paris, London, and Zurich.Etihad
TAT expects Phuket to roll out the welcome mat to 100,000 foreign tourists during the third quarter (July, August, September) representing around USD $ 266,946,600 (8.9 billion Baht) for the local economy.
Thailand has not fully reopened for tourists yet. However, Phuket has served not as the door to enter the country but also as the opportunity to hop into 9 other Thai islands.
Just days after the country put into motion the quarantine-free program, the Thai government approved an expansion.
This expansion now allows those who participate in the sandbox scheme to also visit Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Tao, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai, Railay, Khao Lak, Koh Yao Yai, and Koh Yao Noi in Phangnga.
To be eligible to visit any of these islands, visitors must obtain a “transfer form” from their hotels in Phuket so authorities can confirm visitors have stayed in the island for a minimum period of 7 nights.
Also, two negative COVID-19 tests are required. The one travelers obtain the day they enter Phuket and another one performed on day 6 of their stay.
But before attempting to travel to the expanded destinations travelers need to make it to Phuket first and to do so, they are required to comply with a number of requirements.
To date, all arrivals need to submit a vaccine certificate, a negative RT-PCR COVID 19 test, COVID-19 Insurance and Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by a Thai Embassy or Consulate as well as proof or booking at a Safety and Health Administration (SHA) hotel in Phuket and proof of pre-payment for the two RT-PCR COVID 19 tests.