Thailand is taking baby steps to reopen to tourists, lifting quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers on the island of Phuket. But it’s not stopping there to attract visitors: It’s also planning to offer $1 hotel nights to foreign tourists.
In March 2021, the country’s COVID-19 task force gave the island the green light to start receiving vaccinated travelers restriction-free starting in July, Reuters reported. The expectation is that, by June 30, 2021, the island will have vaccinated 70 percent of its own residents and reached herd immunity. About 54 percent have been reached so far, according to Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), new requirements for those who wish to visit Phuket are as follow: Visitors must be fully vaccinated, have received at least one dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days, or have tested negative for COVID-19 using an RT-PCR or a rapid antigen method within seven days of arrival.
To make Phuket even more attractive to travelers, the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) has proposed a “one-night, one-dollar” campaign where the government would subsidize hotel stays. Rooms that typically cost between 1,000 baht ($32) and 3,000 baht ($97) per night would be offered for just $1. The plan must be approved by the TAT and Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
“Phuket will be the pilot destination to reopen in the third quarter to fully vaccinated foreign visitors from low-risk countries under strict rules and regulations. Safety is paramount in the reopening of Phuket,” TAT Governor, Yuthasak Supasorn said.
A version of this article was previously published on March 26, 2021, and was updated on June 3, 2021, with more information.