The event saw a large turnout of consul-generals, honorary consuls and other officials from Phuket-based consulates of various countries, including Switzerland, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Russia. Also joining the briefing were consuls of Estonia, Mexico, Chile, Australia, Nepal, South Korea and Kazakhstan.
On hand to welcome the diplomats and lead a three-member panel to share insights into Phuket’s present and future at the briefing was PTA President Bhummikitti Ruktaengam.
The session started with an overview of the Phuket Sandbox scheme in which Mr Bhummikitti revealed the progress of the scheme that had been made over the past 116 days.
Later the president introduced a comprehensive tourism and public health strategy that has been developed in response to the Thai government’s policy of opening up Thailand to fully vaccinated tourists from low-risk countries, said a release from the PTA explaining the briefing.
The diplomatic representatives were brought up to speed on the requirements for foreign nationals to be allowed to enter Thailand without quarantine. The participating consuls also learned interesting facts about the post-lockdown setting of the country and Phuket, the release said.
Mr Bhummikitti said that the remarkable achievement of the Phuket Sandbox scheme was due in no small part to the full cooperation of Phuket populace and the “highly efficient” health and safety systems already in place such as the Phuket Chana, Mor Phrom, SHA and SHA BA systems that have helped ensure the Phuket Sandbox scheme is running without a hitch.
“The Phuket Sandbox program aims to encourage all Phuket people to take steps forward together with adequate tourist income to get everyone through this crisis. We’re hoping to step up efforts to bring greater sustainability and security to the tourism sector for the next generation” Mr Bhummikitti said.
During the briefing, the PTA highlighted its current campaign, “Together Phuket Stepping Forward,” which positions “Phuket as a destination that’s worth visiting, safe and highly accessible, with a fair distribution of tourist income.”
The campaign aims to accelerate Phuket’s economic and tourism recovery through the cooperation of all concerned organisations from all sectors in the island resort such as tourism, public health, hospitality, transportation and education.
“While Phuket’s public health systems are ready to tackle the pandemic, Mr Bhummikitti envisions a world in which people need to learn to live with the virus as part of a post-Covid-19 world in which standard health and safety measures are part of the realities of life,” the release noted.
The briefing wrapped up with a Q&A session in which the consuls were given reassurances that Phuket is ready to welcome tourists back and the island resort is safe for both international and local visitors thanks to its highly efficient public health sector that is on alert for any immediate threat.