Why Phuket’s 70% Restart Needs Private Sector Support
Last Friday I was able to attend the roundtable discussion that was organized by the Phuket Tourism’s Association’s Khun Bhummikitti Rukaengam at the Angsana Laguna Phuket. It was an impressive turnout, that included large numbers from both the island’s public and private sector and Minor’s Bill Heinecke was in attendance.
What is now being proposed is to vaccinate 70% of the island’s population as soon as possible to accelerate herd immunity. What is on the table is that the current regulations allow for medical facilities to order the vaccine direct and that the island’s PSU (Prince of Songkla University) would be eligible for that.
Doing the math, 70% of the population is 275,000 people and with a cost of THB5,500-6,000 for two does, the cost is about THB1.6 billion. The question of course is who will pay?
Realistically Phuket cannot and should not simply stand by and ride the wave of whatever happens across all of Thailand. The successful reopening of the Maldives to overseas tourism is a demonstrated proof of concept. If the island has to face another year of domestic only tourism, our hotels and economy will be shattered, and even more massive job losses at hand.
Both the public and private sector have the opportunity for a Phuket ‘travel bubble’ to take place and the island can reopen by October if the industry can get behind this with the provincial leadership and local municipal organizations.
It’s now or never and Phuket has to find a way to accelerate mass vaccinations, as a quarantine-dependent tourism industry simply cannot and will not survive. #fight4Phuket.
To read a complete recap of the meeting, click the following –