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Samui Plus Handful of Tourists, But Gov’t Says 1,000 Coming by Aug. 15

Thailand’s “Samui Plus Model” hopes to draw 1,000 foreign tourists in a month

The first two weeks of the Phuket “sandbox” project has seen thousands of tourists spend more than 500 million baht. Thai officials hope the new Samui Plus program will do the same, but initials results suggest otherwise.

In the first five days of the program only 15 “tourists” have arrived on the Surat Thani island, almost nine of them were not tourists at all but foreign media.

Nonetheless, the spokesperson of the Center for Economic Situation Administration tasked with monitoring the impact of Covid-19 economically, Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, said Sunday the government expects to see 1,000 foreign tourists arrive a month.

Thanakorn claimed that 1,000 will arrive by Aug. 15, generating 180 million baht in tourism revenue.

At the same time, other destinations will gradually open after the Samui Plus model, such as Phi Phi Island, Railay Beach and Koh Ngai in Krabi Province and Khao Lak and Koh Yao in Phangnga.

After that in September, provinces like Chonburi-Pattaya, and Chiang Mai will invite visitors to join them, while Buriram as the host of Moto GP will reopen as well.