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Phuket Sandbox confirmed for 1st July reopening to vaccinated international tourists

Phuket Sandbox confirmed for 1st July reopening to vaccinated international tourists
May 26, 2021

Phuket is preparing to welcome vaccinated international tourists arriving mainly from the UK, France, Germany and Scandinavia – when the island reopens on 1st July. The Phuket sandbox model is a reopening scheme for vaccinated tourists without the need to quarantine.

Phuket Tourist Association President Bhummikitti Ruktaengam notes “the plan is still on and 1st July  is the date we will receive international travellers who have been vaccinated and who can stay in Phuket without quarantine.

“We are on track with vaccinations in Phuket where we need to achieve a herd immunity of 70% of the population, which includes expats with work permits.”

Ruktaengam advised the travel industry to prepare their infrastructure, re-train staff and implement the new SHA Plus guidelines on health and safety for the imminent return of the European market. Europe is a big market… there is strong demand for Q3 and Q4 already.”

Delivering Asia Communications Chief Executive, David Johnson who is currently in Phuket working with the hospitality industry to prepare their re-opening campaigns focusing on Europe added “what is clear is that Phuket hotels need to get ready, and get ready quickly.

“It has been a tough 15 months but the light is at the end of the tunnel and visitors from Europe will return first.

“What will be key is to not go back to offering the same thing. Hotels need to create new story narratives based on nature, culture and the destination itself using new distribution channels. The world has changed and it is important to respond to that. There’s new bucket lists to fulfill for travellers who have been locked down for so long dreaming of returning.”

Looking towards the year-end runway into the island’s core high-season marketplace, consulting group C9 Hotelworks’ Bill Barnett weighs in “between 35-40% of travellers come from cold weather destination’s in Northern, Eastern and Western Europe.  As soon as the temperatures drop, the vaccinated snowbirds will inevitably lead the charge back to the sandbox beaches, and that’s a healthy base to start the recovery storyline.”

Image: Getting the deck chairs ready. The Europeans are heading back to Phuket from 1st July 2021

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