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Ambassadors arrive for Phuket test trip

PHUKET: Diplomats and spouses from 15 countries arrived in Phuket today (Nov 14) to begin a three-day visit that is hoped to build confidence among tourists to holiday on the island.

By The Phuket News

Saturday 14 November 2020, 05:49PM

The delegation, which included ambassadors and their spouses, landed at Phuket International Airport at 11:30am to be greeted by Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong and his wife Mrs Natthaporn, and Phuket airport General Manager Thanee Chuangchoo.

Also present to greet the arrivals were Kosin Phonmang, Chief of the Phuket Passport Office, and Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) President, who was instrumental in organising the visit.

After disembarking, the delegation was escorted through the terminal and briefed on the Special Tourist Visa (STV) screening measure at the airport, and the COVID-19 testing procedures.

As explained at a press conference on Thursday, the visit aims to boost confidence among the potential tourists from Phuket’s main tourism source markets.

The ambassadors and country representatives invited to join the visit are from the countries that formed the top 10 source markets for tourists to Phuket in 2019, Mr Bhummikitti explained at the event.

“During the visit, the delegates are to take part in tourism activities. This will help to create a favourable tourism image of the island to build confidence among both Thai and foreign tourists, Mr Bhummikitti said.


“This project hopes to revive and stimulate the economy and create awareness of the Phuket tourism situation. Their trip will include touring attractions and listening to lectures on the Special Tourist Visa (STV) measures, and to review the screening procedures at the airport.

“Representatives from each embassy will communicate back to their own country about the re-opening of Phuket tourism,” he explained.

“This project is also expected to boost employment and incomes in Phuket by attracting Thai and foreign tourists,” Mr Bhummikitti said.

While on Thursday it was announced the representatives of some 30 countries were to arrive in Phuket for the three-day visit, a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department of Thailand confirmed that today only ambassadorial representatives of 15 countries had arrived.

When the representatives from the remaining 15 countries that as of Thursday were expected to join the visit will arrive has yet to be explained.

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Pascale | 16 November 2020 - 15:09:19

@reality check    Why should they stay in quarantine first ? They reside in Thailand !

reality check | 16 November 2020 - 09:52:44

What does the govt hope to gain by showing these ambassadors a Phuket that is not functioning.  Restaurants closed, beaches not maintained, and bars and tours shut down?  Also did these visitors have a quarantine?  If not why bring them to Thailand and expose residents to possible infection?

Kurt | 16 November 2020 - 09:34:59

Did the Ambassadors' Phuket trip made sense as Thailand keeps her borders almost completely closed and entrance policies change weekly with the tombola of different visa. All the Thai Covid-19 entrance measures now in place ( I not criticize them) are not bringing in tourists anyway.  Qatar came to Phuket 2x last week with a empty aircraft. Guess to pick up travelers?

Richard B | 15 November 2020 - 12:06:17

What's this rubbish about giving tourists "confidence" to come to phuket. I've been wanting to come sine June but my government won't let me leave Australia and the Thai government continually change the rules which constrict the tourists desire to come. A common sense approach is needed not stupid rules and "freebies" for diplomats etc will make no difference

BigA | 15 November 2020 - 09:05:58

Who is paying for this ? And who decide?  WHAT ??? Horst

Kurt | 15 November 2020 - 08:13:41

Not 30, only 15 with their spous join this 'project'! Perhaps some of them already planned a weekend holiday on Phuket. Now they get it for free, including speeding loud noise making Highway Patrol cars in from of their transport. What for having a 'look' on Phuket? Sure their Consuls on Phuket report regular to Ambassadors.

Junkie9 | 15 November 2020 - 08:05:02

Well at least one hotel had some additional guests for the weekend! Do Thai officials not realise that people do not want to spend a lot of money on a holiday and spend 2 weeks locked in a hotel room! Know somebody who just completed their 2 weeks at the Hilton in Bangkok and described the experience as terrible.

cpfleger | 14 November 2020 - 22:45:37

555 - this is so "Thai official" typical. 
Announcing representatives of 30 nations while only 15 to attend (what exactly for? to show them a deserted island) and no idea what happened to the missing 15. 
Great jokes - if Phuket et al would not suffer that badly from the situation itself but improved by hilarious competency shown everywhere. 


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