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Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket welcomes first international guests as part of the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ programme

Resort gives a safe and warm welcome to travellers from overseas with SHA Plus+ certified hygiene standards and a range of new guest experiences.

Bangkok, Thailand – Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, a luxurious beachfront resort owned and operated by Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has officially welcomed its first international guests as part of Thailand’s ‘Phuket Sandbox’ programme for travellers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

A Dutch national who is flying to Phuket from Singapore will receive an especially warm welcome when he checks in to the resort as the first overseas traveller to arrive for a two-week vacation at the property this evening. International visits like this, made possible by Phuket Sandbox, signal a positive step forward for Thailand’s embattled tourism industry, which has been hit particularly hard by the knock-on effects of COVID-19 and prolonged border closures to prevent the spread of the virus. 

By allowing vaccinated travellers from overseas to visit the island with no quarantine requirements, the Phuket Sandbox model serves as a unique and experimental platform for driving the wider reopening of major tourism provinces, and Dusit is determined to do everything it can to help make the programme a success. 

“The Phuket Sandbox model marks a significant milestone on Thailand’s journey to the full reopening of its borders, which is planned for October this year,” said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International. “It gives hospitality companies like ours a unique opportunity to build confidence among international travellers by hosting them according to the highest health and safety standards while delighting them with our services. At the same time, the authorities will be able to collate essential data towards identifying the systems, processes, and infrastructure needed for the safe, widespread opening of the kingdom to international travel. Collaboration and the sharing of ideas will be essential to the success of this project, and we will continue to work closely with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and others so we can learn together, progress together, and all prepare for a strong high season to come.”

More than 70% of Phuket’s population has been vaccinated to allow for the island’s reopening, as has all of Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket’s staff. The TAT also introduced a new sanitary safety standard, SHA Plus+, which is awarded to properties that strictly follow official COVID-19 control guidelines and uphold the highest hygiene standards. In total, Phuket is home to 1,389 SHA Plus+ certified establishments. Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket is one of 882 hotels to receive certification.

The TAT expects between 400 to 500 international travellers to arrive in Phuket on 1 July, when the Phuket Sandbox model is officially launched. Reservations on the books for Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket in July stand at approximately 40% occupancy. The number of international arrivals in Phuket is expected to be around 129,000 within July to September, rising from Q4 onwards. 

“It’s important to remember that this is a pilot project, so there is still some learning to do before we attract very high numbers of international travellers to the island,” said Ms Suthumpun. “The most important thing is that we have now started our journey to recovery, and we will continue to do everything we can to provide assistance and assurance to our guests so they fully understand how the Phuket Sandbox model works and can travel to and stay at our resort with utmost peace of mind.” 

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