Phuket to reopen from October 1 for tourism

phuket thailand

Thailand’s tourism ministry aims to introduce its “Safe and Sealed” tourism plan in Phuket by October 1, while operators in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai are teaming up as a northern hub for long-stay travellers, Bangkok Post has reported.

Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the ministry will join a meeting with Public Health, Interior, Foreign and Transport ministries on August 27 about the plan to open the country to tourists from low-risk cities or provinces who seek an excursion to Thailand.

After a plan is developed, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) must approve it before launching the scheme. Phiphat said one possible solution is to provide 1-2 kilometres of beach area near state quarantine villas, such as in Patong, to let tourists step outside hotels and enjoy the beach during the 14-day quarantine.

The CCSA team already visited the province last week to assess the readiness of the destination, but the ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) have to conduct another survey among locals a week after the CCSA visit, the Bangkok Post said.

“The country is still not back on track, even though we effectively controlled the outbreak,” Phiphat said. “We need to find ways to help the economy recover from the fallout.”

Phiphat said he has talked with newly-appointed Finance Minister Predee Daochai about a 100-billion-baht tourism fund, but the idea requires further discussion with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the economic policy team first.