Phuket tourism sandbox scheme defined
The Phuket Tourism and Sports Ministry in Thailand aims to attract both fully vaccinated foreigners and local travelers to Phuket to build confidence and support tourism demand. This is part of the Phuket Ministry of Tourism’s sandpit model.
- A sandbox is a real-world place or target that is used for experimentation.
- It creates a small and enclosed space – like in a sandbox – to test proposed interventions that allow learning and customization of the small space.
- If successful, the sandbox can then be rolled out to other destinations throughout Thailand.
Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, Phlipat Ratchakitprakarn, said the Thai Tourism Authority (TAT) plans to sign a letter of intent with the Thai Chamber of Commerce this month to support domestic travel to Phuket that could boost local trust.
He said chamber members could travel from July 1 to reassure vaccinated foreigners as well as Thais that they can safely travel to Phuket. Regarding upcoming domestic incentives, the ministry will have to wait for vaccination progress in June and July before reintroducing tourism subsidies in August.
Companies have been cautious about the sandpit plan to reopen Phuket to vaccinated foreign tourists next month as operators are not confident of drawing tourists back to the resort island due to the stringent requirements for incoming tourists.
As a precaution, tourists must stay on the island for 14 days before they are allowed to travel to other destinations in the country. That is twice as many days as previously announced with 7 days.
Despite the reservations, Sonthaya Khongthip, president of a joint venture, agrotourism and conservation group in Bangthao-Choeng Talay community said the community was ready to support the reopening. He said: “The 14-day residence requirement benefits local producers. We want tourists to spend money in communities that sell local products.
“With no tourist arrivals, Phuket becomes a ghost town. Without [the sandbox scheme], the country cannot advance. “
Minister Ratchakitprakarn said that after the Phuket sandbox program was approved by the Center for Economic Situation Administration, it is halfway to getting full official approval. The next step is to publish the Phuket sandbox agenda in the Royal Thai Government Gazette, often abbreviated to Government Gazette or Royal Gazette, the public magazine and newspaper of Thailand. Laws enacted by the government usually come into force after they have been published in the GG. The Thai government has given assurances that the plan will be carried out as planned once it is published in the State Gazette.