Leading figures from the private and public sectors gathered at Angsana Laguna Phuket on June 12 to re-confirm the re-opening of Phuket to international visitors on July 1 and to detail requirements and updates regarding vaccinations, length of stay, PCR testing, and SHA Plus certification.
Key announcements were that the July 1 date is firmly going ahead and that the herd immunity of over 70% has already been achieved with a total of 71% of the population of Phuket vaccinated. The issue of the length of stay was clarified. Tourism executives stressed that stays of any length were allowed.
The domestic market can visit and leave as it wishes providing they are vaccinated or arrive with a negative COVID-19 test certificate. Likewise, international travelers may travel to Phuket for any duration of time, as long as Phuket remains the single arrival and departure point. If vaccinated international travelers want to travel to other parts of Thailand, they may do so only after staying in Phuket for 14 days. During this time there would be a PCR test on arrival and two further tests.
“We are on. This is a clear message and it has not changed. The Phuket industry has never shared a vision and intent so passionately. July 1 is happening and we are nearly there,” said Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of the Phuket Tourism Association in his opening remarks.
Over 300 hotels and other tourism-related companies gathered in the ballroom of Angsana Laguna Phuket to receive the SHA Plus certification from the Governor of Phuket, Narong Woonciew which is required by all Phuket hospitality and travel suppliers to handle international and domestic guests.
These included all seven hotels located in Laguna Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket, Angsana Villas Resort Phuket, Banyan Tree Phuket, Cassia Phuket, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, Laguna Holiday Club Phuket Resort and SAii Laguna Phuket. The fully-integrated 1,000-acre tropical parkland destination, situated along a 3km stretch of pristine Bangtao Beach, also houses the Laguna Golf Phuket and the Bangkok Phuket Hospital Clinic which will operate an onsite PCR-test center for all international visitors during their stay.
“Laguna Phuket is like a mini-ecosystem with hospitality, dining, leisure, and medical all within our grounds,” said Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket. “We agree the approach has to be cautious as we need to get this right. I can certainly say that we are ready, we are safe, we are SHA Plus certified and we are looking forward to welcoming domestic and international guests from July 1.”
“The industry cooperation has been unprecedented and has been instrumental in getting us to this point. It is truly great to see,” added Mr. Chandran. Laguna Phuket has supported the community by providing use of their 1,500 sqm Angsana Convention and Exhibition Space (ACES) as a Vaccination Centre.
Phuket Governor, Narong Woonciew, was also effusive in his praise for the industry as he said Phuket, and Thailand, needed to now progress to the next step. “Phuket will succeed and Thailand will move forward. We are ready. The togetherness and kindness we have shown need to continue. This is our nature, this is our culture. This is the new Phuket.”