A lot has been made of the big announcement that Phuket, Thailand plans to reopen on July 1st to International Tourism. As a hotelier and a person very much reliant on international tourism, I welcome the announcement but I am highly sceptical that it will NOT happen as described.
Firstly it is dependent on Phuket achieving herd immunity with 70% of the population being vaccinated. This is what the experts here in Thailand are saying, but this is dependent on vaccine supply. The orders have been placed for the Chinese vaccine, Sinovac. But if the orders don't come as scheduled, the plan is already in ruins. For more about achieving herd immunity please read this very interesting article here.
Secondly - who exactly is the target market for July 1st? Many EU countries are mandating quarantine on arrival in their own countries while others have banned their citizens from leaving. If you take a holiday you will be greeted with a two-week vacation in quarantine when you get back home. Also, how do these tourists get here? Charter flights? Scheduled flights? Who is taking responsibility for the vaccine certificate/passport at the airport? Who is conducting the covid test? Will it only be destinations that have direct flights to Phuket? A lot of unanswered questions.
What about the residents of Phuket? Are they to be confined to the island and not allowed to travel outside of Phuket? Not everyone is in the tourism industry. People have businesses throughout the country and need to travel and get around. Are you going to tell Thai people they can't go to Bangkok or Chiang Mai or can't cross the bridge to Phang Nga and who is going to police the borders and ensure tourists don't leave the island? What exactly is the plan?
Finally - what about children? Is Phuket becoming an adult-only destination? Children under the age of 18 are not vaccinated in many countries but they can get infected and can spread the virus. It seems families will not be welcome for a long time.
I am normally a very positive person and I have tried to be positive with this news but the more I analyse it, the more I realise it is complete nonsense. It leaves more questions than answers, and in my opinion, the questions I have posed above should have already been answered before any announcement was made. It's a fairytale and it's going nowhere.