The Samui Plus programme to attract vaccinated foreign tourists will continue with Bangkok Airways set to resume flights between Phuket and the island on Wednesday.
Surat Thani governor Witchawut Jinto said yesterday that 257 inoculated foreign tourists had travelled to Samui after spending two weeks in Phuket under the sandbox scheme. However, flights between Phuket and Samut were suspended from 3rd August to 16th August and then extended until 31st August. This meant no tourists from sandboxed Phuket, Mr Jinto said.
After concerted lobbying, flights on the Phuket-Samui route would resume earlier, he said. Bangkok Airways was scheduling flights between the two islands on 25th August, 27th August and 30th August, he said.
This would boost the number of tourists arriving under the Samui Plus scheme, which encompasses Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
From 15th August to November, 168 fully vaccinated tourists had already made bookings to Samui, with reservations for 2,149 nights at hotels, an average of 12.7 nights per visitor.
The reservations were made by French, German, British, Austrian, American and Thai tourists, the governor said.
“Only two tourists tested positive for COVID-19 on the day they arrived in Samui and they were sent for treatment at a hospital. We guarantee safety measures are fully in place and the Samui Plus scheme can control the spread of the virus,” the governor said.