Thailand is trying to attract tourists back to its popular resort island of Phuket. Fully vaccinated international travelers can visit Phuket quarantine-free beginning July 1, which is three months earlier than the rest of the country.
To attract more tourists, the country’s tourism council has proposed a new “one night, one dollar,” campaign with participating hotels. Yes, you read that right.
Under the campaign, guests would pay US $1 per night for accommodations on places that would typically run between 1,000 and 3,000 baht ($32 and $96) nightly.
TCT president Chamnan Srisawat said with a total of 70,000 rooms available on the island, nearly one million room nights would be available. That could generate around 40 billion baht in July to support hotels and the tourism industry.
The campaign from TCT has been submitted to the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and will be in front of the cabinet for approval in June.
If Phuket’s one-night, one-dollar campaign proves successful, the government could expand the campaign to include other destinations such as Koh Samui, Pattaya and Bangkok.
“However, the current wave of COVID-19 infection could (impact the) final decision. But we have been suffering from the pandemic for 15 months now. Only mass tourism will save us,” Srisawat said.
Tourism accounted for one-fifth of the economy pre-pandemic. In 2019, Thailand received nearly 40 million visitors, generating 190 billion baht (US$60 billion) in revenue.
To prepare residents for an influx of visitors, the Thai government is planning to ensure that at least 70 percent of Phuket’s residents are vaccinated by the time the island opens, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Thailand’s move to attract tourists back comes at a time when more countries are reopening their borders to foreign travelers, demonstrating their confidence in the vaccine. Most recently, the European Union announced that its 27-member countries, including France, Greece, Spain, and Croatia, will allow vaccinated travelers.