Phuket Reopens to Vaccinated Tourists in July — and the Hotel Rooms May Be As Low As $1 a Night
A tourism group in Thailand has proposed offering $1 hotel stays in an effort to entice tourists back to Phuket ahead of its opening next month.
The "One-night, one-dollar" campaign, proposed by the Tourism Council of Thailand, would offer certain hotel rooms to foreign tourists for only $1 per night, according to travel trade publication, TTG Asia. Eligible rooms, which would be subsidized by the government, would typically sell from about 1,000 to 3,000 baht per night (or about $32 to $96).
The plan has been submitted to the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports for approval.
If the program was successful, it could potentially be expanded to other popular tourist destinations in Thailand like Koh Samui or Bangkok, according to TTG Asia.
TCT president Chamnan Srisawat said the country has "been suffering from the pandemic for 15 months now," adding, "only mass tourism will save us."
Phuket is expected to open to vaccinated foreign tourists on July 1, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the first destination in Thailand to welcome visitors without a quarantine requirement. To do so, Phuket has prioritized vaccines with the goal of inoculating 70% of the island's population before it reopens.
"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," Yuthasak Supasorn, the TAT governor, said in a statement. "Safety is paramount in the reopening of Phuket."
The relaxed restrictions come months earlier than officials initially planned with Phuket originally hoping to welcome tourists by the Fall.
While Phuket may be ready to welcome back tourists to its emerald waters and stunning rock formations this summer, the rest of Thailand on track to waive quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors by October, Reuters reported.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.