The Phuket Sandbox has generated at least 66 billion baht so far while the island’s unemployment rate is decreasing, says a top Phuket official.
The Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew told the Phuket Express, “From July 1st, 2021 to April 30th, 2022, in total 304 days, there were 503,468 tourists visiting the Phuket Sandbox, with an average stay of eight nights. They spent an average of 55,000 baht per person.”
“The project has generated at least 66.8 billion baht to the economic system overall for Phuket.” Governor Narong added.
Assistant Professor Chayanon Phujaroen from the Prince of Songkla University Phuket Campus told the associated local media, “During the Covid-19 crisis from July to September 2021, the unemployment rate in Phuket was 11 percent which was about 45,000 unemployed persons. This was the period in which we had the strictest restrictions and measures, including closures of all “non-essential” businesses like hospitality and tourism.”
“From October to December last year, as restrictions began to ease and more visitors began to arrive in Phuket, the unemployment rate in Phuket was only at 6 percent which is about 25,000 unemployed persons. This is a significant improvement.” The professor concluded.
As Covid-19 restrictions have continued to ease and relax, tourism numbers to the island, especially Patong, have increased. From May 1st of this year, Thailand dropped the unpopular Test and Go program which had stifled many visitors from arriving due to the fear of potentially testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival and being placed in a mandatory quarantine, ending their holiday. As a result of Test and Go being discontinued, tourism arrivals, especially from India, have increased.
However, as noted by The Phuket Express yesterday, May 27th, some areas of the island, notably Kata and Karon, have yet to fully recover from the devastating impacts of Covid-19 restrictions and mandated business closures.