Phuket Sandbox Programme – Update
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reports that the Phuket Sandbox programme welcomed 33,059 international arrivals in the first two and a half months, from 1st July to 16th September, 2021.
Indeed, fully vaccinated and with no need to quarantine, international travellers have been arriving in Phuket on direct international flights operated by major airlines from points around the world. For instance, Thai Airways International has flights from Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Paris, London and Zurich; Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi; Qatar Airways from Doha; EL AL Israel Airlines from Tel Aviv; Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong; Emirates from Dubai, and Singapore Airlines from Singapore.
Thus, the majority of visitors are the USA, UK, Israel, Germany, France and parts of the Middle East. Moreover, hotels and resorts report that advance room bookings continue to surge.
Phuket Sandbox’s visitors are required to stay at SHA Plus hotels on Phuket for their added safety. SHA Plus certification indicates a hotel meets the safety measures to control Covid-19, and also that at least 70% of its workforce has been fully vaccinated.
Phuket Sandbox Programme – More To Come
With 161,384 room nights currently on the books for September, the three-month total for July to September is presently at 528,365 room nights. These included 190,843 room nights in July and 176,121 nights in August. Looking further ahead, the present total of room nights for the period of October 2021 to February 2022 is 74,362 room nights.
The Phuket Sandbox’s visitors survey showed 80% of respondents are satisfied with the local people’s hospitality and 85% were happy with the SHA Plus certified hotels. They also rated their top five most satisfied points as SHA Plus airport shuttle, booking service for SHA Plus airport shuttle, booking service for SHA Plus hotels, the overall quality of service at Phuket International Airport and the health screening upon arrival in Phuket.
We’re Loving It
The survey was conducted by TAT between 11th July – 15th September, 2021. The 117 respondents were visitors from Israel (36), the USA (17), Germany (11), the UK (10), Switzerland (8) and others (i.e. Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxemburg, Qatar, Bahrain, and Singapore). About 80% of the respondents were 25-56 years of age.
Alongside the necessary health and safety measures in place for the visiting international travellers, Phuket’s vaccination programme as of 12th September has seen 92% of the local population had received their first vaccine dose, while 81% had completed the two-dose series. Finally, Phuket health authorities are currently embarking on giving a third vaccine dose, or a booster dose.
Main image courtesy Fonthip Ward from Pixabay.