Thailand Islands Reopen to Tourism
The “Phuket Sandbox” programme aimed at revitalising Thailand’s tourism industry has begun to take effect with Phuket now open to tourism and Koh Samui due to open on July 15. Thailand is a popular superyacht destination for adventurous owners and charterers, and provides a well needed source of inspiration for future yachting escapades.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced Phuket’s reopening is now in effect, and fully vaccinated international visitors arriving on flights do not need to quarantine. A number of airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates, and British Airways are offering direct flights into Phuket.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big effect on the Thai economy and the tourism industry, especially in Phuket, a destination dependent on foreign tourists and the Superyacht Hub of Asia,” said Tanyuta Singhmanee (Jojo), Managing Director of Asia Pacific Superyachts Phuket, who also represents the Thai Yachting Business Association (TYBA). “We have not found any yacht tourists infected so far and we expect that there will be about 100 yachts, bringing 300-500 tourists to Thailand in 2021.”
The Phuket Sandbox initiative allows free movement on the island for fully vaccinated tourists with no quarantine required, though masks are required in most public places.
The initiative will also be extended to the paradisiacal island of Koh Samui as of the 15th July. The “Samui Plus” scheme still needs to be approved by a Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration sub-committee before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can begin the registration process for the Certificates of Entry, which is expected to come through this week.
Leading regional agency Asia Pacific Superyachts has been facilitating yacht visits during the pandemic, and can arrange for all needs and documents to be handled for arrival through to departure.
"We expect that there will be about 100 yachts, bringing 300-500 tourists to Thailand in 2021."