Phuket Sandbox in good shape

BANGKOK, 8 July 2021: The Phuket Sandbox programme, since its launch on 1 July, attracted 32 inbound flights from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, bringing 1,896 foreign arrivals to the tourist island, the Tourism Authority of Thailand reported earlier this week.

During the first five days, 1 to 5 July, Thai Airways International flew from Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Paris, London and Zurich, Singapore Airlines from Singapore, Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi, Emirates from Dubai, Qatar Airways from Doha, EL AL Israel Airlines from Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion, and two private airlines from San Jose and Dubai.

All travellers need to be fully vaccinated, and PCR tested. So far, no passengers on direct international flights to the island tested positive. However, health authorities reported three domestic cases on flights from Bangkok.

Phuket’s commitment to safely reopen to fully vaccinated visitors include the vaccination programme for 70% of the island’s population. As of 5 July, 84% of the island’s residents had received their first vaccine dose, while 67% had double jabs.

TAT reports that during July, around 426 flights are scheduled, averaging 13 daily. Advance bookings show 11,894 one-way passengers will travel on six airlines; 8,281 inbound and 3,613 outbound.

TAT expects 100,000 foreign tourists to visit Phuket from July to September generating an estimated THB8.9 billion in revenue for the local economy.

Accommodation-wise, advance bookings for SHA Plus hotels in Phuket for July-September amount to 116,842 room nights. Of this total, 106,883 nights are for July (91%), 8,147 are for August (7%), 857 are for September (0.7%), and 955 are for October 2021-February 2022 (0.8%).

The next destinations due to reopen on 15 July without quarantine requirements are the islands of  Samui Phangan, and Tao named Samui Plus programme,

By 1 September, the reopening will extend beyond islands to include southern resorts such as  Krabi Phang Nga, Khao Lak and Ko Yao,

Chiang Mai is also on the reopening list  (the city’s downtown district plus outlying districts (Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and Doi Tao Districts).

If all goes well, the reopening phase will then extend to Chon Buri (Pattaya, Bang Lamung and Sattahip) and Buri Ram (city district and Chang Arena).

TAT said the planned date for the reopening of Bangkok, Phetchaburi (Cha-am) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) is 1 October 2021. The rest of Thailand is due to reopen by the end of October.

(Your Stories: Source TAT)


  1. Well, following the Thai news ,it certainly isn’t looking good ! On the flight from Dubai, one person was found positive for COVID 19, and twelve of the 14 passengers were sent to ASQ hotels !!! The 12 asked to go back to Dubai. Which is doubtful they can. Plus the COVID numbers are nearing 10 000 new cases daily throughout Thailand and many deaths. Borders are porous and domestic tourists and thai nationals /workers can easily enter Phuket and many bringing the virus with them. The sandbox does not sound so rosy to me.

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