1,000 visitors to Samui since July 15

1,000 visitors to Samui since July 15

Most travellers from Phuket sandbox

More than 1,000 travellers have entered Koh Samui since the Samui Plus Model scheme to reopen the island was launched on July 15, Surat Thani governor Witchawut Jinto said yesterday.

The scheme, which covers Koh Samui and the nearby popular islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, has received foreign visitors mostly from the Phuket sandbox programme. On Monday, the scheme welcomed 62 visitors, 45 of whom arrived from the Phuket sandbox.

Onward trips taken to Koh Samui from Phuket have been put under the Phuket Extension programme.

Records show that so far, 10,485 room nights from foreign visitors, who arrived in both the Samui Plus and the Samui Extension programmes, have been booked on Koh Samui, according to Mr Witchawut.

Since the Samui Plus launch, the island has welcomed 1,058 visitors who booked rooms in 15 hotels.

There have been 110 domestic flights which shuttled the visitors from either Phuket or Suvarnabhumi airport since the Samui Plus scheme was unveiled.

The island has received a steady stream of hotel bookings as tourists have spent around 41 million baht during their travels around Koh Samui, according to the governor.

Under Samui Plus, there were 117 arrivals from France, 96 from Germany, 95 from the United Kingdom, 34 from the United States, 32 from the Netherlands, 22 from Italy, 19 from Switzerland, 14 from Poland, 13 from Hong Kong and 11 from Japan. No infections were detected among the visitors.

Mr Witchawut said the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and related agencies were studying whether to expand the Samui Plus scheme to cover Khao Sok National Park and Rajjaprabha Dam in Surat Thani.

The side trips are offered to tourists after they have stayed on the island for a week. The visitors can travel to places of interest in the sealed routes pre-arranged by the tourism authorities, he said.

In Phuket, the daily Covid-19 caseload is expected to top 200 for at least a week, according to Kusak Kukiatkul, chief of the provincial public health office.

He said the new cases caused by the Delta variant were triggered by large clusters of infections detected through mass testing. The office estimated that between 2,000-3,000 people are at risk of contracting the virus, adding that the infection curve is likely to come down after two weeks.

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