Five southern Thai islands are earmarked to reopen for foreign tourists as early as August as the Thai government seeks ways to entice visitors back to the country once “travel bubbles” agreements are in place.
The plan was revealed by a ministry official from the Tourism and Sports Ministry who said that discussion was underway with governors from three provinces regarding the opening of five islands.
Preparations advanced as the Thai government hopes to allow tourists back into Thailand by August, rather than the earlier schedule of September or October.
The islands under consideration are Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao.
These locations have been chosen due to their reliance on tourism revenue, and the ministry expects local residents to agree to the move.
Criteria for allowing tourists back into Thailand remains under consideration by the Public Health Ministry. However, rich, high-spending tourists will likely be among the first targeted when Thailand allows tourism to resume.
Under the current plan, tourists will be prohibited from visiting any location other than their chosen destination.
For example, if a visitor was to fly to Bangkok on a trip to Koh Samui, they would not be allowed to travel in Bangkok and must go directly to their destination.
While visiting, they would not need to undergo quarantine and can freely move around their chosen island.
Further details regarding bilateral agreements and how tourists will return to Thailand are expected later this month.
Source: The Nation