Sun, September 26, 2021

in-focus

Phuket Sandbox will survive, declares TAT chief


The Phuket Sandbox tourism scheme will not be affected by the recent murder of a Swiss tourist, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn told the press on Sunday.

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The authorities have caught Teerawat Thothip, 27, an unemployed local, for killing a 57-year-old Swiss tourist at the Ton Ao Yon waterfall in Phuket’s Muang district on August 3.

The suspect was arrested on Saturday and has confessed to the crime, saying he intended to rob not kill the victim. He has been charged with robbery and causing death.

“TAT has been closely monitoring the impact the case may have on the sandbox scheme, which allows vaccinated foreigners to enter Phuket and travel freely in designated areas for 14 days without having to quarantine,” Yuthasak said. “We found that despite the murder, the reservation of hotel rooms in Phuket has not stopped. Hotels recorded 7,027 room nights reserved on August 5, 6,940 on August 6 and over 6,000 on August 7.

“TAT will also collect data from our branches worldwide about tourists’ confidence and emotional impact from the murder,” Yuthasak added. “We will formulate a plan to help reduce the impact and continue promoting the sandbox scheme.”

The Phuket Sandbox scheme was launched on July 1.

Meanwhile, at the Sunday press conference, Jan Dirk Kaethner, police attaché with the Swiss Embassy, thanked National Police chief Pol General Suwat Jangyodsuk and his team for solving the case swiftly. He was also grateful to Phuket authorities for taking steps to make the province safe for tourists again.

Also on Sunday, Phuket Tourism Association president Phummikit Raktaengam, on behalf of 16 tourism organisation, presented flowers and 200,000 baht in cash to the police. The group had announced earlier that they would pay a cash reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of the murderer.

Published : August 09, 2021

By : THE NATION