Thailand’s popular tourist islands – Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao – will once again beckon international tourists from July 15, a decision that the Thai cabinet green-lighted today.
The move is expected to bring Thailand’s beleaguered tourism industry closer to recovery, joining an earlier decision to reopen Phuket to tourists from July 1.
Cabinet spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in Surat Thani province are loved for their beaches, dining establishments and Full Moon parties.
On the same day, transport minister Saksayam Chidchob delivered a progress report on Thai aviation capability, in response to prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s commitment last week to reopen the country in the next 120 days.
The Thai Transport Ministry has asked the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand to allocate flight schedules for Phuket’s airport. Some 134 flights have been scheduled per day initially for summer, and approximately 320 for winter.
Should the reopening take off well, the number of international flights to Thailand is expected to climb to 13,354 in July – from 5,698 flights in May 2021. Passenger numbers are expected to increase from 79,226 in May 2021 to 146,448 in July. Tourist arrivals are expected to grow 10-fold in July 2021 from a year ago.
To ensure the health and safety of locals and fellow travellers, people from low-and medium-risk countries will need to serve a 14-day quarantine upon entry into Thailand while those from elsewhere must serve a 21-day quarantine in a designated facility. The government is deliberating on the definition of low-, medium- and high-risk countries.