The number of arrivals today is already nearly double the daily average for the past few months, which regularly struggled to see more than 2,000 arrivals a day in Phuket, including Thais returning home, expats and even transit passengers.
The number of foreign tourists coming to Phuket is expected to continue to rise, said Monchai Tanode, General Manager of Phuket international Airport (AoT Phuket), this morning.
Mr Manode was on hand to welcome the 324 arrivals who landed at Phuket airport at 6:55am on Qatar Airways Flight QR842 ‒ the first flight to arrive under the new entry measures.
“On average there are about 27 international inbound flights per day already scheduled for this month,” said Mr Manode.
“This is the first day of the change in entry rules, and we have both domestic and international passengers arriving continuously,” he said.
“After this the number of tourists travelling to Phuket is expected to be no less than 5,000 people a day,” Mr Manode said.
The atmosphere inside the arrivals hall had noticeably improved, officials noted.
“It is particularly busy,” one officer said.
Mr Manode also conducted a final inspection of all the locations where arrivals are processed for entry, including Immigration, Customs and the Thailand Pass counter, where entry documents are checked.
“Everything is in good order. The whole process has been made simpler and it is much more convenient for tourists,” he said.
Phuket Quarantine officials at the airport confirmed that the last person to enter Phuket under the Test & Go entry measures, was cleared by officials to leave the airport just before midnight last night.
The number of international arrivals under the Sandbox and Test & Go entry schemes since Nov 1, when the Test & Go scheme was launched, totalled 500,555, Phuket Quarantine officials said.