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.