Fresh plan to reopen Koh Phayam

Fresh plan to reopen Koh Phayam

Ranong: Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister, Jurin Laksanawisit, said he will propose the "Koh Phayam Connect" tourism campaign to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The plan would help boost the province's economic recovery, he said.

Mr Jurin received a proposal for the plan at a meeting with tourism businesses and Ranong's provincial authorities yesterday. It was submitted by the chairwoman of the Young Entrepreneurs Chamber of Commerce in Ranong (YEC), Udomporn Putthamrong.

Koh Phayam -- located near the border with Myanmar -- is renowned among tourists for its fine, white-sand beaches, and its cashews.

Mr Jurin said he was asked to propose the model to the CCSA because the island's business operators want to take advantage of its close location to Phuket and Koh Samui in Surat Thani -- both of which have been reopened to foreign tourists.

"When tourists finish their stay in Phuket after seven days, they will be able to travel further to Phangnga, Krabi and Koh Samui. Under this model, they will be able to visit Koh Phayam too," he said.

If the plan gets the nod from the CCSA, those wishing to visit Koh Phayam can do so after showing a negative test result with an antigen test kit upon arriving on the island.

Ms Udomporn said the model was designed with input from experts directly involved with the Covid-19 restrictions, to boost tourists' confidence on the island's safety.

She said residents welcomed the idea of reopening the island but they wanted a field hospital to be set up first.

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