“I would like Phuket to organise activities leading the consulates from various countries to travel to Phuket in order to see the beautiful tourist attractions and to promote tourism for Phuket,” he said.
The call came at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (Jun 4) attended by consuls and honorary consuls in Phuket from 16 countries: Australia, Luxembourg, Russia, Korea, Netherlands, Switzerland, France, England, Austria, Mexico, Estonia, Finland, Chile, Norway, Germany and Denmark.
The meeting was held to discuss and receive opinions and feedback on the development direction of Phuket in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, said a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).
Governor Phakaphong pointed out that Phuket had recorded 227 confirmed cases of people infected with COVID-19.
“No people are currently receiving medical treatment in hospital and there has not been a confirmed case for 10 consecutive days,” he said.
The PR Phuket report did not mention that three people in Phuket have died as a result of being infected with the virus.
The Governor pointed out that the central government had allocated B1 trillion to the recovery of the country amid the fallout from COVID-19: B45 billion for public health plans, B555bn for relief remedies, and B400bn for social and economic recovery framework.
Governor Phakaphong also pointed out that Phuket officials had facilitated more than 2,827 foreign tourists in Phuket returning to their 24 home countries.
The diplomatic corps in Phuket present at the meeting thanked Phuket officials for their assistance in helping foreign tourists return home, said the PR Phuket report.
In terms of feedback about visitors returning to Phuket post-COVID-19, the general consensus was that tourists still have confidence and will want to travel to Phuket again when the situation is normal, the report added.
Governor Phakaphong also gave special attention to medical tourism, and to a proposal to allow medical tourists extended stays in Thailand once the international restrictions are lifted.
“As for the proposal, which would like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide assistance regarding a permit to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days in the event that foreign tourists come to use medical services in Thailand, those involved in the medical industry can work with the Phuket Passport Office* to submit the proposal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for further consideration,” Governor Phakaphong said.
* The Phuket Passport Office, whose main responsibility is to issue passports to Thai nationals, operates under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Although it has never been publicly announced, it is understood that the Phuket Passport Office acts as the leading Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Phuket.