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PM Inspects Samui, Phuket Airports as Ravaged Islands Prep to Receive STV Tourists

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha inspects Koh Samui Airport ahead of its opening to foreign tourists under the STV program.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha inspects Koh Samui Airport ahead of its opening to foreign tourists under the STV program.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday visited Koh Samui Airport to inspect screening processes for international tourists to travel to in Surat Thani Province under the Special Tourist Visa program.

Accompanied by Surat Thani Gov. Witchawut Jinto, Prayut was briefed on planned procedures requiring visitors to step into a disinfection zone before having their temperatures taken and their travel history recorded. Officials then would proceed with the regular documentation processing.

The premier then visited Sheraton Samui Resort Hotel, one of seven “alternative local quarantine” hotels certified in the province. He also visited the Samui Smart Command Center in Koh Samui Subdistrict  before joining locals to release aquamarine animals back into their natural habitat at Phra Chedi Laem So Temple.

The Prime Minister then left for Phuket Province ahead of the scheduled Cabinet meeting. He then proceeded to inspect the tourist screening process at Phuket International Airport, which also deploys a stringent set of Covid-19 prevention measures.

He commented that Thailand needs to reacquaint with measures to welcome a large volume of international tourists. He also touched on the quarantine process, saying that Thailand still has a limited number of quarantine facilities, citing the need to enlist more hotels to serve as ALQ centers.

Prayut later officiated a meeting with Phuket officials and representatives from the private sector to discuss ways to recover the tourism sector which is severely being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic at Duangjitt Resort & Spa Hotel in Kathu District.

The mobile Cabinet session aimed at regaining tourist confidence in Thailand’s most famous island in preventing Covid-19, while giving local entrepreneurs and provincial administration to propose projects to further develop the area.

Among these initiatives is the construction of a bridge connecting Khanom District to Koh Samui, that will increase the number of visits, address the traffic issue and elevate the status of Koh Samui as a special administration.