Russell Crowe in Phuket, Bangkok
Hollywood actor Russell Crowe's posts on Twitter showing him and his crew travelling in Phuket and Bangkok have created a much-needed buzz ahead of Thailand's reopening to foreign visitors on Nov 1.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed his appreciation after being informed about the Academy Award winner's tweet, prompting the premier to thank everyone involved in Phuket's "successful" sandbox reopening model.
Crowe, 57, posted several photos, video clips and messages on Twitter from the tourist island and Bangkok, where he is believed to be shooting a movie called The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a drama directed by Peter Farrelly based on the book of the same name.
He posted pictures of several tourist attractions in Phuket, including the 25.45-metre tall seated Buddha statue at the Big Buddha Temple.
He also posted pictures of himself and his group biking in Bangkok's Thon Buri district, showing off Wat Kanlayanamit Woraviharn on Arun Amarin Road.
Crowe tweeted to his 2.7 million followers that he had never visited Thailand, although he had transited in Bangkok six times.
"The Thai govt has this very cool thing in place. It's called Sandbox Quarantine. If you are fully vaccinated you can fly to Phuket and move around the island freely," Crowe tweeted.
"We had an obligation to the production I'm on to limit our movements but still managed to see the big Buddha and a waterfall or two. The weather in Sept was wet. But sooo warm. When the sun did come out it was beyond gorgeous. Thai people are so friendly, so welcoming and of course, the food is just amazing. So, if you've been locked down, if you're feeling that wanderlust stirring in you now that we have a date for open borders."
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) appreciated the stories and photos Crowe shared on his social media pages while staying in Phuket and Bangkok, said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
"We would like to thank him for the message he posted on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. It is good news that we received a good response," said Mr Yuthasak, adding that it happened at the right time when the kingdom is ready to open for fully vaccinated visitors without quarantine on Nov 1.
"It also shows the success of our standard operating procedures on Phuket Sandbox that it leads to an impressive customer experience," he said.