Thailand mulls new incentive to woo int’l visitors via tourism reopening program


(Xinhua) — Thailand is considering to unveil an “island hopping” tourism program, allowing quarantine-free foreign visitors arriving in the tourist resort Phuket to “hop” to other seaside destinations, in the latest step to boost the tourism sector.

Fully-vaccinated international travelers will be allowed to visit other seaside destinations, including Krabi, Phang Nga or Koh Samui, after a seven-day stay in Phuket, Thanakorn Wangboonkhongchana, spokesman of the Center for Economic Situation Administration, said Thursday.

They can head to other parts of Thailand after staying at the second destination for seven days, according to Thanakorn.

Under the country’s current Phuket Sandbox reopening program, which took effect from July 1, fully-vaccinated foreign visitors can enter Phuket without quarantine, but they have to stay in Phuket for at least 14 nights before heading elsewhere in the country.

The adjustment may take effect from Aug. 1, according to Thanakorn.

This came as Thailand reported record numbers of COVID-19 infections for the second day in a row.

On Thursday, the country confirmed 13,655 new cases, the highest single-day tally since the pandemic began, taking the total number of infections to 453,132, according to the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration. Cumulative deaths reached 3,697, up by 87 during the past 24 hours.