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Phuket Sandbox Reopening Model Likely To Be Delayed

Category: Tourism, Posted:06 Sep 2020 | 10:25 am

It’s a rainy day in Phuket and the headlines in the Bangkok Post continue the gray mood for tourism.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn is quoted in, saying that the Phuket model for restarting international travel is likely to be delayed. Mind you he did not give a definite no.

Triggering the issue was the first local Covid-19 case in Bangkok last week in more than three months and the reality of an ongoing “fear factor” over the pandemic continues to make the travel start controversial.

For island hoteliers amid a desperate cash flow situation and stuck in budget season, a forward look into 2021 still is extremely unclear. Or even for the remainder of 2020.

Last week the Phuket Hotels Association held an open one-hour Flash Market Overview and Forecast for hotel and tourism with contributors being the Thai Hotels Association (THA), STR, C9 Hotelworks, and Horwath HTL.

A run through on up to date data was part of the program and the in-depth analysis can be seen on YouTube that has all the presentations.

For Phuket hotels looking for green shoots, the only real current market is domestic, and hope that the ALSQ (alternative local state quarantine program) will be implemented on the island soon, but that requires an approval for international flights.

The current challenge looks to be summed up as “the winter of our discontent” for the moment.

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