The official numbers are out and the Tourism Authority of Thailand has touted success in the Phuket Sandbox plan’s first month, with over 14,000 international travellers arriving and a reported 829 million baht of revenue generated in July. Between the reopening date July 1 and the end of the month July 31, 14,055 travellers arrived, and the 829 million baht spent means people spent an average of just under 59,000 baht per person spent.
The United States had the most citizens travelling to Thailand with 1,802 people, followed by the United Kingdom with 1,558 travellers. Israel brought 1,455 people to Thailand and French and German citizens accounted for 847 and 839 travellers each. A report about halfway through the month reported 858 returning Thai citizens but the total figure for the month is not available.
The TAT expects numbers to ramp up in the next 2 months, bringing another 86,000 people in August and September to make 100,000 international travellers total for the third quarter of 2021. They predict 10 times the revenue July brought, about 8.9 billion baht over the next 2 months.
282 million baht of revenue in July was from the 190,843 room nights booked at SHA Plus approved accommodations in Phuket, an average of 13.5 nights per person (many people came for short holidays before returning to their home countries). Another 194 million baht was spent on shopping with spending on goods and services around Phuket. 175 million was spent on food and beverages, giving a much-needed boost to restaurants, and 124 million baht was spent on health and medical care, though it is unclear if that includes Covid-19 testing costs.
August already has 10,694 hotel room nights booked, which is less than July, but the TAT reminds us that July originally only had 106,883 nights booked in Phuket, so numbers are expected to climb in the coming days and weeks. Future planners have reserved over 9,000 rooms for September already, totalling almost 320,000 room nights booked in the third quarter so far.
Other points of pride in the Phuket Sandbox program are the jobs and vaccination numbers. By the end of July, 89% of Phuket residents are said to have received at least 1 vaccine with 69% being fully vaccinated with 2 doses. And the reopening of Phuket to international travellers has generated 210 million baht in salary for workers affected by tourism.
The TAT’s announcement closed with the hope of opening Krabi and Phang Nga to tourism within the month of August. When they open, authorities aim to implement a 7+7 scheme that allows Sandboxers to spend their second 7 days in the neighbouring provinces, allowing travellers to spend a week in places like Koh Phi Phi, Railay Beach, Khao Lak and Ko Yao.
SOURCE: TAT Newsroom
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