Phuket province has welcomed its first batch of Test & Go tourists arriving by sea, as future travellers arriving on cruise ships and yachts will benefit from the quarantine exemption scheme.
Before March 1, Thailand allowed no-quarantine entry only via air under Thailand Pass and the Test & Go scheme.
New arrivals by land require no quarantine, but they need to take an RT-PCR test upon arrival and stay at an alternative quarantine hotel that is certified under the SHA Extra Plus standard for one night while waiting for the result. They will need to take a test again on the 5th day of their stay in Thailand via the antigen method (ATK).
Fully vaccinated travellers arriving by sea are required to take an RT-PCR test upon arrival and must remain aboard their vessels until the result is released.
Phuket provincial authorities and representatives from related agencies were seen greeting the first group of tourists who arrived from Singapore on the Malaysian yacht “The Maggie” on Tuesday (Mar 8). The ship docked at Ao Por Grand Marina, which was designed to be a “smart pier” with auto gates, CCTV with a temperature detector, and a passport scanner.
The almost 7million dollars 31.08m/102′ motor yacht ‘The Maggie’ was built by Sanlorenzo in Italy at their Ameglia shipyard. Her interior is styled by Italian designer design house Zuccon and she was delivered to her owner in June 2019. This luxury vessel’s exterior design is the work of Zuccon.
The Maggie has been designed to comfortably accommodate up to 10 guests in 5 suites. She is also capable of carrying up to 5 crew onboard to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience.
The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) relaxed travel restrictions on March 1, allowing Test & Go travellers to enter Thailand by land and water rather than only air. Each visitor must submit an RT-PCR Covid-19 test upon arrival under the scheme. Those travelling by air must spend the night at an approved hotel or resort while waiting for their results, while those travelling by sea must stay aboard the yacht or cruise ship.
According to Phuket’s Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, passengers from yachts and cruise ships are a target market with large spending power. The majority of them are from Europe, Mediterranean countries, and several nearby countries.
Phuket has been known as a popular destination for yachts and cruise ships worldwide. The island province boasts more than 30 state and private-owned piers as well as a deepwater port. As many as 91 ships carrying 323 passengers visited Phuket in 2021, while 27 ships and their 92 passengers have been scheduled to arrive in the province by the end of March.
Phuket has a deep seaport and more than 30 piers that can accommodate luxurious yachts.
The TAT Director added that the government and related organizations are now mulling a plan to further promote tourism in Phuket and to invite boaters from around the world to visit the island province, as well as other regions in Thailand.