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Phuket locals praise return of tourists, but still wary of COVID-19

Phuket locals praise return of tourists, but still wary of COVID-19

PHUKET: A snapshot of opinions of local residents and business owners has shown that the general consensus is that the return of at least some tourists is much welcomed in the hope of relieving the financial suffering on the island, but the need to enforce COVID-19 preventative measures remains strong.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 1 October 2020, 10:00AM

Wirintra Paphakitjayotpat, a tour operator, said plainly, “It’s a good idea to let foreign tourists in, so we can make some income.”

“I am not worried about COVID-19 infections because the tourists must be scanned by the CCSA. They must be rich enough to afford the costs, and love themselves enough for doing it,” Ms Wirintra said.

“As a business operator, I have already prepared temperature checkers and hand-washing gels. The Phuket government, the Phuket Health Office and other officials have done their best, and we all are ready to welcome tourists.

“Come to Phuket to make income for business owners and local people.” she urged.

Thitirat Promsuphat, a massage shop owner, also supported the return of tourists.

However, she added, “I am still concerned and worried about the pandemic. We all must protect ourselves and trust officials’ measures. They must be sure that it will be 100% safe before letting tourists come.

Yet the income is much needed. “The pandemic has caused an economic crisis, and we do not have much money for living,” Ms Thitirat said.

Patong motorbike taxi driver “Mr Tiaw” also welcomed the move to reopen tourism.

“Time passes, but nothing gets better. I get only about B80 per day, which can afford to pay for only two meals. I do not have any other income,” he said.

“I think that if the government wants to let tourists in, they must be confident enough about their own measures before doing it.”

Property in Phuket

Patong fruit vendor Ms Wilai also welcomed the move, especially to help relieve her financial hardship.

“I want foreign tourists to come because I do not have any income and it is hard to pay living costs at this stage… If they [tourists] do not come this month, I will die from starving. Most masseuses have already gone back to their hometowns, so I don’t know who will buy my goods.

However, Ms Wilai also stressed the need for effective infection-preventive measures to be in force. 

“I trust officials, doctors, medical staff and the government’s measures… Phuket people know well that right now there is no pandemic in Phuket, but we still need to protect ourselves,” she said.

Somtam vendor Mr Somporn praised the return of tourists, noting how especially hard Patong had been affected by the fall of tourism to the pandemic.

“It’s good because most of the businesses in Patong have already shut down. My business too. People in Patong cannot live without foreign tourists, it is not like other areas where there are a lot of Thai people.

“Patong is now a cemetery,” he said.

Patong beach masseuse Ms Boonrueng agreed. “I’m glad that tourists are coming. I feel like I will be able to go back to work and make money again,” she said.

“Now there are Thai tourists, but not many. I trust officials’ measures because we have not had any new cases for a long time – and tourists come, they will have to be quarantined first anyway,” she added.

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LALALA | 05 October 2020 - 07:37:02

Thats exactly what it is.. the scam of expats and foreign tourists will continue...LOS=Land of Scam. 

Kurt | 04 October 2020 - 12:34:52

Dek, nothing wrong with thinking to make money as entrepreneur. But I miss the 'rolling out red carpet thinking ' for foreign tourist they want so desperately. No new time thinking at all. It is all about themselves. 1 menu for thai and foreigners? No more dual pricing? Normal honest taxi fees? A bit of logical public transport? Etc. Fill it out.

DeKaaskopp | 03 October 2020 - 10:38:29

What is wrong if Thais admit that they want to make money. Are foreign businesses on Phuket not eager to make money again. Ridiculous comments from .. and ... ! As ridiculous as the constant protection of  "W S's" from the PN .

Kurt | 02 October 2020 - 15:03:46

It is all about the Thai 'wallet' what we read. Understandable if you at the brink of bankruptcy.  But I miss the change in thinking of Thai people who suffer now the missing of the foreigners. Nothing in change thinking of treating the foreigners thankful, scam free and with more respect. It is all about regimental & money making only.

JohnC | 02 October 2020 - 09:46:27

The attitude of locals still needs to improve a lot. This woman's comments clearly show that: “Come to Phuket to make income for business owners and local people.” she urged. May as well have just said come here to give me your money. TIT

ThorFinger | 02 October 2020 - 05:14:19

now the government can't tell them that it is only the very old and severely ill who have a good chance of dying. 
What a ship of fools.

ThorFinger | 02 October 2020 - 05:11:52

10% closed... optimistic moron. 
Patong is like a cemetery... realist
Most of the businesses have shut down... again realist. 
If the tourists do not come this month I will die starving... reality and the real fear
Sadly, there is so much fear, the Thai people believe that they have a good chance of dying if they get covid. 

ThorFinger | 02 October 2020 - 05:03:50

Government scares population to make it easily controllable and then has to backpedal when the country has been plunged into massive economic crisis. Gee, didn't see that coming!
I also love how each person praised the government...lol.

Foot | 01 October 2020 - 16:39:28

maverick is correct.
It is highly unlikely that tourism will ever reach higher numbers for years to come.
Ask yourself this;  If you were going to spend a few weeks in a country, why would attract you to Thailand?  What sets Thailand apart?

Pascale | 01 October 2020 - 12:04:10

" we all kept hostile because of the flu"   What ?  Hostile ?

maverick | 01 October 2020 - 11:21:10

Sadly this type of story gives false hope to the Thai community that there is about to be an influx of tourists when this is clearly not the case 120 Chinese who probably own condos here won’t make much difference 

LALALA | 01 October 2020 - 10:36:22

Must love themselve to go into qurantaine...what a kind of BS is that please ? In this context everybody should read what Mr. Kluge head of WHO Europe said 2 days ago. ,Covid 19 is from the family of influenza viruses,....here you go, we all kept hostile because of the flu.


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