Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ steady first month with over 14,000 foreign tourists arriving


Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ steady first month with over 14,000 foreign tourists arriving

Over 14,000 foreign tourists visited Phuket under the island’s ‘sandbox project’, generating an estimated revenue of THB829 million according to the latest Tourism Authority of Thailand assessment at the weekend.

From 1 to 31 July, 14,055 travellers arrived on the island, with the largest source market being the USA with 1,802 arrivals. The UK followed this with 1,558 arrivals, Israel with 1,455 arrivals, Germany with 847 arrivals, and France with 839 arrivals.

Initially, TAT forecast the Phuket Sandbox would bring in around 100,000 foreign tourists from July to September earning THB 8.9 billion revenue for the island economy. The chances of hitting the target are low following a massive spike in Covid-19 infections elsewhere in the country. But local tourism executives say they are happy with the progress and the fact that the sandbox shows there is an alternative to just simply locking down an entire country.

Fully vaccinated and able to enter Phuket without the need to quarantine, although they must undergo RT-PCR testing three times during the 14-day stay on the island. Travel is restricted to the island for the 14-days when they are free to travel elsewhere in Thailand.

International flights to Phuket are offered by Thai Airways International (THAI) from Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Paris, London, and Zurich, Singapore Airlines from Singapore, Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi, Emirates from Dubai, Qatar Airways from Doha, and EL AL Israel Airlines from Tel Aviv.

Accommodation-wise, visitors booked 190,843 room nights in July at SHA Plus certified hotels. August will close with 109,694 room nights in advance bookings and September another 9,182 room nights, altogether amounting to 309,719 room nights for the July-September period.