According to a release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office last Saturday (May 7) from April 29 to May 4 a total of 213,958 people registered through the Thailand Pass system to come to Thailand. Of those, 202,878 people had been approved, reported the Prime Minister’s Operations Center (PMOC).
Dr Sumanee Wacharasint, an assistant spokesperson for the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), confirmed the figures in a report by state news agency NBT on Sunday.
The NBT report counted the approvals as tourists who had already arrived.
However, those estimates have yet to be substantiated by the number of international arrivals landing at Phuket airport.
According to figures reported by Immigration officers at Phuket airport, so far in total 20,979 foreigners have been granted entry to Thailand via Phuket airport from May 1-10.
On the day the entry measures were eased (May 1), Phuket International Airport General Manager Monchai Tanode said that more than 4,400 international arrivals were expected to land in Phuket on May 1 alone.
In contrast, Phuket Immigration reported only 2,700 international arrivals on May 1.
With a high of 3,130 for May 6 and a low of 859 arrivals for May 2, according to the Phuket Immigration reports Phuket has seen 23,657 international arrivals in the 10 days since May 1, averaging 2365 arrivals a day.
Of those, 20,979 have entered Phuket under the new “No Quarantine” (NQ) category.
Phuket officials have transparently reported the lacking number of tourist arrivals, but without comment.
Likewise, no tourism officials or any key tourism figures on the island have made any public comment about the impact the cancellation of Test & Go has had.
“On average there are about 27 international inbound flights per day already scheduled for this month [May],” said airport director Mr Monchai on May 1, the first day of the new No Quarantine scheme.
“This is the first day of the change in entry rules, and we have both domestic and international passengers arriving continuously. After this the number of tourists travelling to Phuket is expected to be no less than 5,000 people a day,” Mr Monchai added.
According to the Phuket Reopening Daily Reports, issued by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and posted by the Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket Governor’s Office, the island has yet to reach the number of arrivals recorded in January and February. The details are as follows:
Arrivals in January-April:
Jan-Feb – 166,466 arrivals;
Mar – 72,205;
April – 80,767;
Total – 321,438.
Average daily arrivals:
Jan-Feb – 2,821 arrivals per day;
Mar – 2,329;
April – 2,692;
Total – 2,678.
In April, arrivals hit a months-long high of 4,004 arrivals on Apr 9. Phuket is yet to see similar numbers in May.