Phuket-Samui flights to resume Aug 25, says governor

Phuket-Samui flights to resume Aug 25, says governor

Samui Plus continues for vaccinated tourists

Fire engines spray water over a Bangkok Airways plane bringing the first group of foreign visitors to Koh Samui. (File photo: Supapong Chaolan)
Fire engines spray water over a Bangkok Airways plane bringing the first group of foreign visitors to Koh Samui. (File photo: Supapong Chaolan)

SURAT THANI: The Samui Plus programme to attract vaccinated foreign tourists will continue, with Bangkok Airways set to resume flights between Phuket and the island on Aug 25.

Surat Thani governor Witchawut Jinto said on Friday 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 had been suspended from Aug 3 to Aug 16 and it was then extended until Aug 31. This meant no tourists from sandboxed Phuket, Mr Witchawut.

After concerted lobbying, flights on the Phuket-Samui route would resume earlier, he said. Bangkok Airways was scheduling flights between the two islands on Aug 25, Aug 27 and Aug 30, 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 Aug 15 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.

“During the first month of the Samui Plus scheme [July 15 to Aug 14] a total of 320 tourists arrived in Samui with 2,856 nights booked at hotels, an average of nine nights per person.

"Income from tourist arrivals was around 17.28 million baht. Some of the tourists also visited Koh Phangan and Koh Tao," 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."

Samui Plus kicked off on July 15, welcoming fully vaccinated foreign tourists, two weeks after the Phuket Sandbox reopening.

The Samui Plus model covers Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

Visitors are required to stay at approved hotels on Samui for a week and can leave their accommodation on day four.


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