The SHA+, or Safety & Health Administration Plus standard, was launched by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Ministry of Public Health as guidelines for hotel entrepreneurs to append safety and health measures to the service quality standards to ensure safety of customers and staff during the pandemic.
“Over 100 hotels in Phuket with combined rooms of over 10,000 are SHA+ certified, while 430 hotels with over 40,000 rooms are certified at SHA level,” he said.
“To get an SHA+ approval, 100 per cent of hotel staff must be vaccinated.
“The association believes that the vaccination of hotel staff should not be a problem, as so far over 200,000 Phuket locals have been vaccinated, and some of them are hotel staff,” added Kongsak.
“The province expects to vaccinate another 200,000 locals before the end of June, so before the campaign starts we should have plenty of hotel staff who are vaccinated.
“Furthermore, some 10,000 rooms at SHA+ certified hotels should be adequate for foreign tourists in the early phase of Phuket sandbox,” he added.
“The TAT has estimated that in the first three months of the campaign, around 100,000 foreign tourists will enter Phuket, averaging around 30,000 people per month. This number of tourists will usually occupy 2,000 to 3,000 rooms per day.”
Kongsak added that the current hotel occupancy rate in Phuket is only 5 per cent, forcing hotels to provide discounts to attract customers.
“Five-star hotels are offering rooms at as low as THB2,000 per night, while the rate for villas has dropped to THB4,000 per night from the original price of over THB10,000 per night,” he said.
“The association expects that once the sandbox programme passes its three-month pilot phase, foreign tourists will start pouring in and the occupancy rate in Phuket will climb up.”
Under the sandbox scheme, foreign tourists who can verify they have been inoculated against Covid-19 and test negative can fly into Phuket and move around freely in the province without having to quarantine.
After staying in Phuket for 14 days and testing negative, the tourists can then travel to other provinces in Thailand.
Published : June 15, 2021
By : THE NATION