The centre recently published its estimates for the tourism industry for the second half of the year, and the tourism sandbox campaign in Phuket is expected to be a major contributing factor.
Under the scheme, foreign tourists who can verify that they have been inoculated against Covid-19 and test negative can fly into Phuket and move around freely in the province without having to quarantine.
After staying in Phuket for 14 days, if they test negative for Covid, the tourists can then travel to other provinces in Thailand.
“From July 1 until the end of 2021, the sandbox campaign will bring in from 550,000 to 1.2 million foreign tourists in the best-case scenario, in which there are no new cluster cases emerging in the province,” said the centre. “However, in the worst-case scenario, the number of foreign tourists is predicted at around 250,000. These predictions could vary, depending on the Covid-19 situation, the vaccination rate and the confidence of foreign tourists in Thailand’s ability to control the outbreak.”
The research centre also predicted that the overall tourism industry would start to improve next year when more locals in tourism provinces have been vaccinated.
“As for domestic tourism, the government’s tourism promotion campaigns will start to yield result in provinces that have no new cluster cases and achieve the vaccination target,” said the centre.
“Once the country’s overall outbreak situation improves, Thais will start travelling and spending domestically, which will help other related industries, such as transportation and retail.”