Tourist room reservation in Phuket slumps after surge in new cases
Some 9,000 tourists have reserved hotel rooms in Phuket for August, lower than the expected 25,000 to 30,000 tourists in the second month of the Phuket Sandbox programme that started on July 1, the Phuket Tourist Association said.
“In July, the room reservation rate was at around 14,000 tourists and we expected the number to increase in August,” the association president, Phummikit Raktaengam, said on Monday. “However, due to new Covid-19 cases in the province the reservation rate has slowed down and is likely to miss the target of 30,000 tourists.”
Phuket reported 185 new cases in the fourth week of July (July 22-28). Of these, six were patients from the sandbox campaign while the rest were locals and imported cases from other provinces. This prompted the governor to bar entry into the province for vehicles from other provinces from August 3 to 16, as a part of Covid-19 preventive measures.
“The association predicts that the room reservation rate will rise again during the high season at the end of the year, which is the time when European and Scandinavian tourists will escape the cold weather in their countries to the warm beaches of Phuket,” said Phummikit. “Furthermore, as the Thai FDA has already approved the Sputnik V vaccine, we believe that more Russian tourists will visit the province at the year-end.”