Thailand Longstay Company is coordinating with some 200 potential tourists, who are set to be the first to travel to Phuket province, under measures against COVID-19, with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports viewing the group as a test of the so-called Phuket Model.
The Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said his office and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) are reviewing foreign cities that have been free of COVID-19 for at least 28 days and are assessing demand for travel to Thailand, so that collaboration with those countries can be discussed.
The Phuket Model, to be used for such tourists, was conceptualized by Thailand Longstay Company, which is looking to bring 200 tourists to the southern province. Measures for such visitors will include requiring a medical certificate, issued within 72 hours of travel in the nation of origin and submitted to the local Thai embassy, and a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Travelers will be limited to the single province with a requirement that they enter another seven day quarantine if they wish to depart to another province. Those who test negative for COVID-19 after 21 days will be allowed to travel nationwide.
The Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, suggested each region select a pilot province for trialing the model. He called for public agreement to build confidence.
The Tourism and Sports Minister also commented on the We Travel Together program, which was recently expanded from five nights to 10 and from 1,000 baht for flights to 2,000 baht, saying spending power in the nation is currently reduced. So far, the program has only resulted in 500,000 rooms being booked from a target of 5 million. It has been suggested that large companies buy up the privileges and use them as rewards for employees. The Cabinet is to be asked to extend the program until the end of the year, rather than to only October, in support of the high season. (NNT)