Phuket Sandbox Generates THB 1.6 Billion in Tourism Revenue

Since it launched on July 1, some 28,000 international visitors have arrived in Thailand under the quarantine-free Phuket Sandbox program, generating 1.6 billion baht in revenue, provincial authorities said, citing a report by the Tourism and Sports Ministry’s Economics Tourism and Sports Division.

According to official figures, 346 international flights have arrived at Phuket International Airport in the past two months, bringing 3,721 travelers from the United States and 3,470 from the United Kingdom between July 1 and September 4.

During the same period, 3,153 visitors also arrived from Israel, 2,262 from France, and 2,247 from Germany.

Of the total number of tourists who have visited the island, 10,492 have returned to their home countries, and 17,705 have traveled to other Thai provinces after completing their two-week stay in Phuket.

Currently, 4,963 international tourists are still staying on the island, provincial authorities said.

Official data revealed that travelers’ financial contributions of 1.63 billion baht revenue included 565 million baht in accommodation, 376 million baht in goods and tourism services’ purchase, and 350 million baht in food and beverages. Tourist’s spending also comprised 229 million baht in medical and health treatments and 14 million baht in other categories.

Yesterday, Phuket’s Governor Narong Woonciew said the province had been conducting an active search for cases among high-risk communities –including migrant worker groups, local ethnic communities, and fishing industry workers– to identify Covid-19 infections and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus on the island.

According to the governor, the province has reported a surge in Covid-19 cases, with 88 new infections among international arrivals reported on Monday. But he added that authorities were working to ensure that all infected people have access to immediate treatment.

Thailand has struggled to recover its economy, which was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the government’s strategies include programs to reopen popular tourist destinations, such as Phuket’s sandbox scheme.

Under the Sandbox program, fully vaccinated tourists were allowed to visit the island without quarantine. However, all travelers must meet other requirements and stay in Phuket for at least 14 days before going to other parts of the country.