Koh Samui’s sandbox programme has received positive feedback after lifting the mandatory quarantine, with new bookings during the first 10 days of this month already exceeding its total numbers since opening on July 15.
Ratchaporn Poolsawadee, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, said momentum is expected to continue following the UK’s decision to remove Thailand from its red list, which will enable British tourists to fly home without facing mandatory quarantine.
“The UK market totally disappeared the past month after Thailand was put on the red list. But we anticipate this market will return, along with the Russian market, with pent-up demand just awaiting the approval of flights,” he said.
From Oct 1-10, Samui had forward bookings of 955 tourists, generating 7,220 room nights, of which 723 travellers plan to visit the island in October, 158 in November and 74 in December.
Mr Ratchaporn said when the island imposed a mandatory three-day quarantine, it received only around 500 tourists in a whole month.
From July 15 to Sept 30, this programme saw soft demand of just 907 tourists, as well as 399 tourists from the Phuket extension programme.
Samui bookings surge