The inspection came ahead of the scheduled visit to Phuket by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today (June 25).
Welcomed to Phuket by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, Mr Supattanapong arrived at Phuket airport at 4:20pm and proceeded on his tour of the terminal and his inspection of the procedures in place to allow foreign tourists onto the island.
Joining Mr Supattanapong for his inspection were Chatchai Promlert, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, and Thosaporn Sirisamphand, Secretary-General of Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDB).
Following their inspection of the procedures for allowing tourists to enter Phuket via the airport, Deputy PM Supattanapong and his entourage visited the Phuket Check point at Tha Chatchai to inspect the capability of officers there to screen people entering Phuket by land.
According to an official report of the visit, Governor Narong said that, “At this stage, Phuket is ready for checking tourists and welcoming vaccinated tourists from abroad without quarantine.”
“We have coordinated with administrative officers, police, soldiers who work at the airport and the checkpoint, as well as medical staff to work on testing,” Governor Narong said.
“We all need to unite together to boost our economy and at the same time protect our people from the pandemic. Our people must be safe to create a good image of Thailand,” he added.
Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO, or OrBorJor) President Rewat Areerob said, “We all must thank the national government for its good support to open the island.
“In Phuket, our government sector, private sector, and public sector have united to move forward and work our best on the opening plan to recover our province,” Mr Rewat said.
Following Deputy PM’s Supattanapong inspection, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn arrived at Phuket airport to meet with local officials as part of his own inspection of the airport’s readiness to allow forein tourists to enter Thailand via Phuket.
After the meeting, where he was joined by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong and other senior Phuket officials, Mr Phiphat told the press that he was assigned by Prime Minister Prayut to conduct his own check of the readiness of Phuket to receive foreign tourists.
“At this stage, I confirm that Phuket is 100% ready to welcome tourists from July 1. What we are waiting for is just the first tourist walking out of the plane at the airport,” Mr Phiphat said.
“Regarding concerns about overpriced fares, taxi drivers at the airport must be registered with the Phuket Government first before providing services,” he said, according to an official report of his visit.
“The registration is to unlock the issue about taxi mafia,” he said.