Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew co-chaired the event, held at the Angsana Convention and Exhibition Space (ACES) MICE facility at the Angsana Laguna Phuket resort yesterday afternoon.
A total of 136 Phuket tourism operators were granted the certification for Safety and Sanitation Standards under the SHA scheme launched only last month.
Mr Yuthasak explained that the SHA project is a standard assessment of the TAT in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health by the Department of Disease Control and the Department of Health.
The scheme was launched to raise tourism industry standards in tandem with safety and hygiene standards, he said.
“The objective is to build trust among tourists after the COVID-19 situation is safe for travel by encouraging operators in the tourism industry to make improvements in both services and hygiene,” Mr Yuthasak said.
Those certified under the scheme will be promoted through various channels of the TAT both locally and abroad, he added.
“The tourism industry entrepreneurs receiving the SHA certification today is one thing that will answer [the question of] the readiness and potential of tourism in Phuket,” Mr Yuthasak concluded.
“In addition, the TAT is ready to push Phuket to be a pilot area for ‘Travel Bubbles’ as soon as possible,” Mr Yuthasak assured.
“I believe that visitors must travel back to Phuket. Because Phuket is ready, which TAT will support Phuket.”
Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew also said that the event yesterday demonstrated the readiness of the private sector, “especially the standardised tourism industry that is ready and builds confidence for tourists who will travel to Phuket.”
TAT Phuket Office Director Napasorn Kakai said that 453 establishments in Phuket had applied for SHA certification.
So far 251 had been approved, she noted.
“That is the second-highest in the country, after Bangkok, and there are still establishments that are in the evaluation process,” Ms Napasorn said.
The TAT has been accepting applications for businesses to be audited for certification under the SHA scheme since May 18, Ms Napasorn explained.
Applications are still being accepted, she added.
Ms Napasorn urged businesses to be certified under the scheme.
“For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the official Line account @thailandsha or call 1672.” she said.
Director-General of the Department of Health, Dr Panpimol Wipulakorn, late last month repeated the call for not just hotels, but all major tourism-related businesses to be accredited through the government’s (SHA) certification.
“SHA is a safety standard for tourists to check the places that have been allowed to reopen,” she said.
“We also give business owners suggestions through the TAT website and send officers to inspect places periodically, in order to stimulate them to prepare for the new normal and create health and safety policy for business owners, workers, and visitors,” she added.
Dr Panpimol urged the owners of 10 types of tourism businesses to register to receive SHA certification: restaurants; hotels or accommodation and conventions; recreational activity and tourist attractions; transport operators; travel agencies; health and beauty service operators; department stores and shopping centres; tourism sport venues; theatres, cinemas and other venues for entertainment and activities; and souvenir shops.