Phuket’s highly anticipated reopening to tourism is now officially in effect, with the launch today of the Phuket Sandbox programme that welcomes fully vaccinated international visitors to the destination with no need to quarantine.
Right from Day one to four, major airlines including Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International (THAI) are flying direct to Phuket from cities like London, Frankfurt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore.
Flights over the first four days of the reopening, from 1-4 July, are scheduled as follows:
On Thursday, 1 July, four different carriers will be touching down at Phuket International Airport on direct flights throughout the day: Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi; Qatar Airways from Doha; EL AL Israel Airlines from Tel Aviv; and Singapore Airlines from Singapore.
The next day, Friday, 2 July, will see the arrival of a direct Emirates service from Dubai.
On Saturday, 3 July, there will be three Thai Airways International (THAI) direct flights arriving from Copenhagen, Paris, and Frankfurt.
These three THAI flights will then continue onto Bangkok, as will another two THAI flights scheduled for Sunday, 4 July, direct to Phuket from London and Zurich.
H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said “The reopening of Phuket signifies a crucial step forward in the revitalisation of Thailand’s tourism industry with the island serving as a pilot destination. It is indeed wonderful to be welcoming visitors once again, and they can rest assured that their safety and well-being is of utmost importance to Thailand.”
Much has been done safety-wise in the lead-up to the Phuket Sandbox launch. Of particular note is the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration or SHA certification scheme that was introduced in May 2020, and which is itself certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
There are currently well over 1300 hotels, restaurants, activities, attractions, shops, and other venues and businesses across Phuket that are SHA certified, meaning they have the required safety and hygiene measures to control COVID-19.
More and more of these are also becoming SHA Plus certified, meaning that at least 70% of their employees are fully vaccinated.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “It is with great pleasure we can now welcome the world back to Phuket. Fully vaccinated visitors can once again enjoy the famed beaches, warm hospitality, and many other attractions that have made Phuket one of the world’s favourite destinations.”
It is this longstanding popularity among travellers the world over that makes Phuket the ideal destination with which to restart Thailand’s tourism industry. The reopening of other places like Samui, Krabi, Phang Nga and Chiang Mai are planned to soon follow. (TAT)