The Thai Prime Minister, along with his cabinet, will be taking a two day “tour” of Phuket and Koh Samui, meeting with local officials and business leaders to discuss how to help the islands that have been devastated by lack of foreign tourists.
Thailand’s borders remain closed to general foreign tourism due to concerns around the potential spread of Covid-19, which, officially speaking, appears to not be widely locally spread with only a small number of cases over the past seven months. One recent case was from a lady who recently returned from France and tested positive several days after being released from a fourteen day quarantine. So far, all her contacts both high and low risk have tested negative.
The plan for the two day visit was announced by the Office of the Prime Minister earlier today, Sunday November 1st.
Highlights of the visit include:
-A visit to Phuket and Samui International airports to inspect Covid-19 prevention measures in advance of any plan to welcome back more tourists. Currently, Phuket airport has the capacity according to them to process 578 passengers a day in terms of Covid-19 testing and quarantine related processes.
-Meet with local tourism business leaders from Koh Samui and then Phuket as well as prominent members of the community to discuss how to safely allow in tourists under the countries new Special Tourist Visa program, which so far appears to mainly be for those from China.
-Mobile Cabinet meeting on Tuesday
-A meeting with leaders and and officials representing other popular Southern provinces and islands such as Krabi, Trang and Phang Nga.
-A tour (exact details not released) of impacted areas in the business sector.
The purpose of the visit, according to the Thai government, is to provide support and listen to the thoughts of local business leaders, officials and prominent local residents around ways to bring back tourism, both domestic and foreign. Additionally, it is to show the public that Koh Samui is safe after the previously mentioned case of Covid-19 and to reassure the public there is no risk after reportedly some domestic tourists canceled plans over the past weekends to visit the province.