Tour operators in Thailand’s southern province of Phang-Nga are calling for a plan that will allow tourists to travel directly to the province to avoid complicated procedures while betting on resuming flights from Russia to generate 20,000 overnight stays in the fourth quarter.
Mr. Pongsakorn Ketprapakorn, president of the Tourism Council of Phang-Nga said one of the main concerns is the complicated process of applying for a letter of entry for the 7 + 7 island entry program.
The program requires tourists to spend the first seven days in Phuket, tourists may consider other destinations due to the difficulty of entry, while Scandinavian tourists want to visit Phangnga directly. “We need entry relief so that travellers can travel to Phangnga in sealed vehicles after landing at Phuket Airport.
Phuket is expected to attract more tourists,” he said. After the approval of the Sputnik-V vaccine, Russian tour operators including Anex Tour and Pegas Touristik, Sho Pongsakorn, who is also CEO of Khao Lak Emerald Beach Resort and Spa.
Phang-Nga hotels ready for tourists
He said the hotel has already received inquiries from the Russian market for 2,500 rooms in the last quarter. Around 20,000 overnight stays by around 2,800 Russian tourists with an average stay of seven days will travel to Khao Lak Tourism.
He said the tourism situation was pretty stagnant despite reopening as an expanded travel destination. 70% of the 92 hotels with the SHA Plus certificate will reopen with very few tourists. As of September 20, advance bookings for SHA Plus hotels totalled 2,475 nights, 1,684 of which were in Khao Lak, followed by Koh Yao Noi (326) and Koh Yao Yai (465).
“Tour operators are working to promote the surf town of Khao Lak to not only attract Russian tourists who frequent surf spots in Bali, New Zealand and Australia, but also other potential surf culture markets such as France and Japan,” said Pongsakorn.
Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said last week that he had spoken with Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai about working together to resume flights between the two countries.