Note: This story has been updated.
The Phuket Governor has confirmed this morning, October 7, that tourists will not arrive in Phuket tomorrow as originally reported by some media and government sources. The province will wait until after the Phuket Vegetarian Festival following reports of nervous domestic Thai tourists and residents.
The Governor of The Tourism Authority of Thailand spoke with the Thai press last month and revealed that the first group of scheduled tourists under the new Special Tourist Visa would be from China and were originally scheduled to be arriving on October 8th.
The group of tourists were scheduled to be from Guangzhou and about 120 people in total were scheduled to fly to visit the Thalang District in the Phuket Province. All would have ultra strict measures to follow including a fourteen day quarantine.
Read more about our previous story HERE.
The Phuket Governor Narong Woonsiw revealed the news that tourists were not coming yet this morning in the ‘Governor Meet Media’ show on the Radio Phuket Thailand channel of the PRD Thai Government Department.
“We have not received any order from the Ministry of the Interior to welcome foreign tourists yet.” He confirmed.
“However, the province has agreed to welcome foreign tourists after the Phuket Vegetarian Festival which will be after October 25.” He added.
PHOTO: Phuket PR Office
“Private sectors are expecting that a significant number of domestic Thai tourists will visit Phuket for the vegetarian festival which will generate at least 200 million baht in the province.” He explained.
There are mixed reasons for the delay, The Pattaya News notes. The Tourism Authority of Thailand said that paperwork delays were contributing to the postponement of the arrival of foreign tourists, however, some sources state that nervousness from Thai tourists and local residents have postponed the tourists.
This nervousness is primarily directed towards the thought process that many Thai tourists would skip the vegetarian festival out of fear of potentially infected tourists, despite all having to go through strict quarantines that last the majority of the festival and as many as five separate Covid-19 tests, fit to fly tests, insurance and medical requirements and more.