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Thai tourism sandbox schemes generate THB2.33 billion in first three months

Thailand’s tourism sandbox schemes have attracted 38,699 foreign tourists as of September 30 – three months since the first scheme was launched on July 1 in Phuket, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Saturday.

“The schemes have generated 2.33 billion baht in revenue,” he said. “Of the total earnings, 2.25 billion baht came from the Phuket Sandbox scheme, 66.58 million from Samui Plus Model and 12.16 million from the 7+7 Phuket Extension programme.”

Under the Phuket Sandbox scheme, foreigners who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and test negative can fly into the province and move freely without having to quarantine. After spending 14 days in Phuket and testing negative, they can travel to other provinces.

Surat Thani’s Samui Plus Model allows vaccinated foreigners to travel on sealed routes to Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Tao if they spend the first seven days in an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel and undergo tests as required.

The Samui Plus Model is linked with an island-hopping scheme called “7+7 Phuket Extension”, under which visitors who spend seven days on Phuket and test negative can travel to tourist islands in Surat Thani, Krabi and Phang Nga provinces for seven days.

“Of the 38,699 foreign visitors, 907 travelled under the Samui Plus Model and 399 joined the 7+7 Phuket Extension programme,” he said. “Of the total arrivals, 91 or about 0.3 per cent tested positive for Covid-19. From July 1 to February 2022, 716,898 room nights have been booked in SHA+ certified hotels.

“The government is planning to expand the sandbox programme to other provinces in the fourth quarter of this year and first quarter of next year with the aim to welcoming at least a million visitors or 5,000 people a day. The aim is to generate more than 60 billion baht in revenue from tourism,” Thanakorn said. “The authorities also estimate that by the end of this year, 62 million or 90 per cent of the population will have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, which should help attract tourists next year.”


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Published : October 02, 2021