About 10,000 foreigners stranded on Surat Thani islands

About 10,000 foreigners stranded on Surat Thani islands

Tourists have their visas extended at a mobile unit of immigration police on Koh Samui, Surat Thani. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)
Tourists have their visas extended at a mobile unit of immigration police on Koh Samui, Surat Thani. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)

SURAT THANI: About 10,000 foreign tourists were left stranded on three islands of this southern province, including about 5,700 on Koh Samui, when passenger flights were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tikamporn Sutti-udomrat, tourism and sports chief of Surat Thani, said on Wednesday that apart from the 5,700 visitors on Koh Samui, some 3,300 other foreign tourists were on Koh Phangan and about 1,000 on Koh Tao.

"They have accommodation, travel and growing expense problems. I have sought help from the Tourism and Sports Ministry," he said.

Mr Tikamporn asked local officials and hoteliers to let the foreigners stay until they can leave Surat Thani.

His office arranged for accommodation for the foreigners who had urgent problems but they would have to pass health screenings, he said.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand's branch on Koh Samui said that the Turkish embassy in Thailand has prepared a chartered flight, Turkish Airlines flight THY 6102/59, to repatriate Turkish tourists. The flight was scheduled to leave Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province at 6pm on Thursday.

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