The request was filed at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall between officials and tourism industry operators yesterday (May 31).
Present at the meeting were Phuket Vice Governor Vikrom Jakthee and other officials along with leading representatives and operators from Phuket’s tourism industry, including hotels, entertainment venues, and transport providers.
Weerawit Kreuasombat, President of Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA), filed the formal request addressed to the Phuket Governor to reopen entertainment venues.
“We will set up checking points at the entrances to Bangla Rd. Staff must be vaccinated. If they are not vaccinated, they will not be allowed to work,” he said.
“For now, operators have bought thermometers to be used in front of their venues, and more than 90% of staff working in entertainment venues in Patong have been vaccinated,” Mr Weerawit said.
“We all are pleased to cooperate with the Phuket Public Health Office [PPHO] for any other appropriate measures,” he urged.
All pubs and bars in Phuket have been ordered closed since Apr 9 when Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew issued their closure ahead of the Songkran holidays
Under the latest order, which came into effect today (June 1), they are to remain closed until further notice.
At the meeting, hotel operators requested that each tourist must have health insurance coverage of at least US$50,000 (about B1.56 million).
Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, President of the Thailand Hotels Association Southern chapter, also noted, “The reopening to vaccinated foreign tourists in Phuket under ‘Phuket Sandbox’ is a test. If the reopening is successful, the reopening will expand to other provinces to boost national economy and tourism.
“At this stage, hotel operators are preparing to be good hosts, and we are also having English training with Phuket Rajabhat University (PRU) for our staff,” he added.
“However, the hotels to open to foreigners must be under the new normal and disease control measures by the Ministry of Public Health. Staff must report details of foreign guests to the [nearest] Emergency Operation Center (EOC),” he pointed out.
Instead of hotel staff having to provide the reports, Mr Kongsak said, “I want the Phuket government to use technology like www.gophuget.com and the ‘ThailandPlus’ app for foreigners to register before coming.”
Tourism transport operators at the meeting asked the Phuket Government to provide free vehicle checks and soft loans to repair their vehicles and ready them for use transporting international tourists, as the vehicles had not been used for a long time.
Vice Governor Vikrom told the press after the meeting, “Most of the operators want government help in terms of soft loans to develop their businesses and get ready for July 1.
“The information and requests from today will be presented to a small meeting of CCSA on June 2 and a big meeting [of the CCSA] on June 4. Then the information will be discussed by the Cabinet for appropriateness,” V/Gov Vikrom said.