The economic devastation that the pandemic has wreaked across industries has been mostly similar, but the losses hospitality and travel have suffered are quite unprecedented. Premier holiday destinations, too, have had to swing from closure to reopening and back very erratically, for instance, Maldives, which a few days back shut its borders to Indian tourists.
The drop in travel in the past one year has also seen Phuket’s tourist economy plunge like never before. The Phuket News reported that at one point, the per capita tourism income was in danger of crashing below the provincial poverty line. But now, according to a fresh announcement, Thailand is planning to welcome international travellers who have been fully vaccinated, from July 1.
CNN has reported the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s confirmation of the same. Once implemented, the country will allow fully vaccinated tourists from low-risk countries to fly directly to the historical city of Phuket that’s a hit with tourists for its beaches, seafood restaurants, and vibrant party scene among other things.
ðÂÂ¹ðÂÂ PRESS RELEASE: The Tourism Authority of Thailand officially marked the countdown to the ‘Phuket Reopening’ day on 1 July voicing their commitment to safely reopen Phuket to local and international visitors https://t.co/mXhrwZWtdw #TravelNews #PhuketReopening #Phuket #Thailand pic.twitter.com/8fy2g6twfJ
— TAT Newsroom (@Tatnews_Org) June 2, 2021
Authorities are playing it safe, however—one has to go through a final frontier. Travellers will need to spend at least in Phuket before proceeding to another part of the country.
Thailand, a large part of whose economy depends on tourism, is preparing to open the country to a greater degree by steadily stepping up the national vaccination drive. While close to 50% of Phuket’s population has been vaccinated, a countrywide inoculation drive is set to kick off next week.
Presently, domestic travellers to Phuket are required to either be fully vaccinated or have taken one dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Those who were infected with the virus but recovered in the past three months are also permitted to visit. Travellers not meeting either of these requirements need to carry a negative test report not older than seven days.
Also, according to B2B publication TTG Asia, rooms in Phuket might be available at a dollar per night if a new plan proposed by the Tourism Council of Thailand comes to fruition. The plan is called One Dollar, One Night, and this pricing plan could be expanded to other major Thai destinations if it succeeds in bringing back tourism.