KD Singh, Founder & President, TravelBullz, in a message to travel trade partners, has said that the success of ‘Phuket Sandbox’ is part of a bigger effort to reopen Thailand for international tourists. The Phuket Sandbox initiative allows vaccinated foreign tourists to enter Phuket from July 1.
Although India and other high-risk countries are unlikely to be open soon for tourists, KD Singh emphasises on the importance of the Phuket Sandbox as an important step in the re-opening of Thailand to international tourists. “This is a constantly changing environment, and everyone we know in the Thailand tourism industry is doing everything they can to ensure that Phuket Sandbox is a success, paving the way for Thailand’s reopening plan to continue on track. The good news is that properly vaccinated tourists will not need to go through quarantine and there would be no minimum night’s stay restrictions if they do not plan to visit other cities in Thailand. Guests who wish to travel to other cities will be mandatorily required to first stay in Phuket for 14 to 15 days, after which they are free to travel to any place in Thailand as long as their RT-PCR test remains negative before departing Phuket. The success of Phuket’s Sandbox is thought to be part of a bigger effort by the government to reopen Thailand as a tourist destination,” he elaborates.
Pinning his hopes on a successful reopening, Singh shares that there is eager anticipation for Phuket Sandbox to go well. “If everything goes well, without causing any major increase in COVID infections or cases, it will serve as the foundation for the rest of the plans to be implemented. Over time, the tourism industry, THA (Thai Hotels Association), TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand), Tourism Ministry, and other commercial and governmental stakeholders will collaborate to ensure Phuket sets the benchmark and succeeds,” he believes.
The Phuket Government is working tirelessly to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the Phuket community to create herd immunity, in partnership with local tourist organisations and bodies. Immunisation will be given to tourism and hospitality companies, guides, drivers, spas, salons, and everyone else connected with the tourism industry on top priority.
TAT has also created a higher spec for the SHA Certificate, called SHA PLUS. TravelBullz is an SHA-certified company and has started an awareness campaign regarding the re-opening of Thailand. “We have started a campaign on e-filers, Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media to be able to bring FAQs and updated information to all our stakeholders and all TravelBullz partners. I would request them to accept the link,” Singh informs.