Posted on 05/04/2021

#Society #Thailand

Phuket hopes to welcome vaccinated tourists in July

Thailand has had less than 100 deaths and 30,000 cases since January 2020. For the country, tourism represents 22% of the GDP, this means the country has suffered greatly as a result of the worldwide pandemic. The island of Phuket was the place that had suffered the most. But the island plans to welcome travellers who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.

Thailand has had less than 100 deaths and 30,000 cases since January 2020. For the country, tourism represents 22% of the GDP, this means the country has suffered greatly as a result of the worldwide pandemic. The island of Phuket was the place that had suffered the most. But the island plans to welcome travellers who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.

The plan

The plan Noppakun Wiropart / 123RF

On March 23, officials announced that travellers who have received the COVID-19 vaccine are welcome to visit the island, and they won't have to quarantine themselves on arrival, starting from July 1. The island wants to relaunch its tourism ahead of the rest of the country.

This plan came about when local business groups suggested buying enough vaccines to achieve herd immunity on the island, in order to allow travel to start up again. According to the Bangkok Post, a consortium of Phuket business interests pitched pooling their resources to purchase enough of the vaccine to create herd immunity on the island, allowing foreigners to visit the island.

The go ahead

The go ahead Pipop Boosarakumwadi / 123RF

Business owners and organizations, including Phuket Chamber of Commerce and the Phuket Tourist Association, joined together and suggested using private funds in order to immunise 70% of the adults on the island, the island is home to 400,000 people. If the island managed to achieve herd immunity, Phuket could get rid of Thailand's mandatory 14-day quarantine, which deters travellers from visiting.

The plan is being put to effect. If the vaccination efforts pull through and the target is hit, Phuket would be able to welcome travelers much earlier than the rest of Thailand. Thailand has been rather successful in stopping the spread of the virus, however, the vaccination rollout has been rather slow. As there are few tourists, the Thai economy has been badly affected, along with the concerns of international travelers bringing the virus over, Thailand has set up numerous trial programs to encourage tourism, such as the yacht quarantine.