The tourism scene in some provinces has visibly gotten livelier after the relaxation of Covid restrictions to accommodate the reopening of Thailand to international tourists, and as the tourism high season comes into view. This is especially true for Phuket province, which has a 3-month head start because of the Phuket Sandbox quarantine waiver initiative.
Many tourists were seen boarding vessels at Chalong Bay Pier in Phuket’s capital district, as they made their way to islands and islets near Phuket. There were Thai as well as foreign boaters, the latter consisting of travelers from countries such as Israel, Denmark, and France. Staff at the tourist drop-off point at the pier said there have been more visitors lately, in contrast with very quiet days at the pier earlier, when around 20 people would head to the pontoon and marina at the pier each day. Currently, more than 1,000 people make use of the pontoon and marina per day. The staff said more tourists are expected during the year-end peak season.
In Trang province, Pak Meng Pier was seeing significant tourist activity. The visitors comprised both Thais and foreigners who were generally there to tour Morakot Cave – Trang’s highlight tourism destination. Recently, no less than 100 people charter boats to the cave each day. The charter service has become more popular as opposed to group tours, as each visitor group tries to avoid mingling with other tourists due to COVID-19 concerns.
In Trat province, Ko Chang district’s implementation of the safe tourism model resembling Phuket Sandbox was apparently going well, as hotel bookings continued to climb. Hoteliers said rooms were almost completely booked for nights within the peak season. They viewed Thailand’s reopening to international tourists positively and said they have made all the required preparations, notably making sure that their hotels meet the SHA Plus public health standard. (NNT)