Several businesses in the Thalang Rd area of Old Phuket Town were questioned by PR Phuket yesterday (June 29) and the overwhelming consensus was that tourists desperately need to return in order to reinvigorate businesses left reeling after the past 15 months of lockdowns, island-wide restrictions and travel bans.
“I agree with opening up to tourists in line with the Phuket Sand Box model,” commented one vendor who owns a clothes shop on Thalang Rd.
“Nowadays, the shops in Thalang Road are very quiet with barely any customers at all, mainly due to the absence of overseas tourists,” the vendor added.
“There days when I do not sell anything at all so to see tourists returning wil be very welcome. I have seen other local businesses such as shops, massage parlors and restaurants also preparing for the return of tourists which is a good sign.
“Hopefully returning foreign tourists can help stimulate the economy and encourage entrepreneurs to the province.”
Whereas most local business owners generally agreed with this sentiment, several did express a need for caution, requesting the government and related health agencies ensure the measures in place to combat any potential spread of COVID-19 are enforced rigidly.
In particular, there were several requests to ensure strict implementation of screening inbound tourists on arrival and to ensure robust health guidleines are respected and followed during the tourists’ stay on the island. Additionally any violations of the health safety guidelines should be dealt with seriously.
All inbound tourists will need to meet strict criteria as outlined in the Royal Gazette this morning.
This includes proof of being fully vaccinated, possession of a Certificate of Entry (COE), a COVID-19 test certificate issued within 72 hours prior to travel, insurance covering US$100,000, a booking with a SHA+ hotel in Phuket for 14 days, and be willing to pay for RT-PCR tests.