Thailand: The Thai government has approved a plan called Phuket Sandbox allowing the region to reopen to travellers vaccinated against Covid-19, and a social media campaign in support of the local community has launched.
One key working of Thailand’s Sandbox scheme is to achieve a baseline vaccination of over 70 per cent of Phuket residents. Hotels have hosted vaccination centres to help reach the numbers.
As of 1 July, the Sandbox will allow vaccinated international visitors to travel the island without having to quarantine for 14 days – as is the current policy for arrivals in Thailand. Five flight paths have been scheduled from Singapore, Qatar, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
In the lead-up to the July reopening, Laguna Phuket (a collection of hotels and villas) in collaboration with Phuket Tourist Association, Delivering Asia Communication and C9 Hotelworks have launched a campaign to show residents are ready to welcome back travellers.
C9 Hotelworks managing director Bill Barnett said: “We wanted the campaign to represent the true face of our tourism industry, its people. So, we took to the streets, had conversations, and engaged with our community which has remained resilient in the face of adversity, to actively be the face of this amazing change that is about to take place.”
Laguna Phuket’s managing director Ravi Chandran said: “The Sandbox has brought together various tourism organisations in a way our industry has never witnessed before. [It] has broken down barriers within our industry, and the hope displayed in the determination and spirit is teaching us a true-life lesson. Welcome Back Home is our tribute to acknowledging people first and supporting our local neighbours and not just relying on Instagram-ready photo libraries.”
President of the Phuket Tourism Association, Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, said: “There will be bumps in the road but we will get there. We are working together as one, one island. The industry has never shared a vision and intent so passionately.”
The campaign was shot by Delivering Asia Communications’ photographer and videographer Thunwa Siripotisorut over two days. A video can be watched here.