As the two-week mark looms since the opening of one of the world’s most aspirational travel destinations, the bold Phuket Sandbox scheme is set to be assessed and analysed by some of its key architects and stakeholders.
Key findings so far are that the UK market is leading a return of European travelers with 12% of the 4,568 international arrivals to date (July 11) coming from the UK – a fact industry observers claim is testament to the long-standing relationship between the UK and Phuket, direct point-to-point access from London Heathrow to Phuket International and pent up demand.
The figure has been further boosted by the UK government’s decision to not enforce quarantine restrictions on travelers returning from countries on its so-called “Amber List”, which includes Thailand. This policy is reported to have led to a 23% surge in overseas holiday bookings by Brits.
A total of 168,862 room nights have been booked across 305 hotels for a total guest number of 14,844 and an average of 11-nights’ stay, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand data on July 11.
These are some of the facts. A first full report card analysis of the ambitious Phuket Sandbox tourism model will be heard and details will be put under the microscope at the Welcome Back Home interactive online tourism event on July 15 at 3pm Bangkok time / 9am UK time.
Jointly hosted by C9 Hotelworks, Delivering Asia Communications, Laguna Phuket and Creative Concept AV, the one-hour online event will reveal the most up-to-date data plus voices on the ground will give critical information across all core travel segments.
The creation and implementation of the Phuket Sandbox was a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors, and this virtual roundtable will be led by representatives from the tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors, along with industry analysts and marketing experts.
Speakers will include Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President, Phuket Tourist Association; Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Europe, Africa, Middle East & Americas, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT); Ravi Chandran, Managing Director, Laguna Phuket and Executive Vice President, Banyan Tree Group; Kittiphong Sansomboon, Executive Director of Customer, Brand & Marketing, Thai Airways International; Bill Barnett, Managing Director, C9 Hotelworks; and Peter Weibel, Director of Sales & Marketing – International Markets, JTB Thailand. The discussion will be moderated by David Johnson, CEO, and Sumi Soorian, Business Development Director, Delivering Asia Communications.
“It’s baby steps, but we are encouraged by the signs so far,” said Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket. “The UK market has responded quickly despite it being the UK summer months and we are delighted to welcome back the Brits who for us over our seven hotels make up 20% of our arrivals to date. Other key markets are Thailand, the US, UAE and Israel.”
All international tourists to Phuket need to undergo regular PCR tests. To enable this, Laguna Phuket recently partnered with Bangkok Hospital Phuket to set up an internationally-accredited test centre within its grounds, which are home to seven hotels.
The Welcome Back Home free interactive online event will be hosted on Thursday 15th July 2021 at 15:00 hrs (Bangkok time), via Zoom. It is open to all travel trade, members of the media and anyone with an interest in Thailand’s tourism industry.