The start might have been rocky, the tech wasn’t exactly, exacting and the rules left a few people scratching their heads, but eventually they got there. On July 1st, Thailand finally opened its much anticipated travel “sandbox” on the island of Phuket, allowing fully vaccinated visitors to arrive and enjoy Thailand – without quarantine.
Yep, if you’re fully vaccinated, you can travel to Thailand without quarantine. You’ll just need to stay in Phuket to start, until more areas are opened in October.
More than 3,000 people have arrived in Phuket since the landmark reopening of leisure travel on July 1st, but those numbers are still vastly below figures hoped by tourism officials to reboot the fledgling travel industry.
Now, Phuket deals are everywhere, and they’re hard to pass up, or ignore.
Extreme Travel Deals In Phuket
Along with many other countries around the world, Thailand is quickly figuring out that rebooting the tourism industry isn’t quite as simple as flicking a light switch.
A calamity of early errors involving fluid quarantine changes and 31 steps for tourists to apply to enter the country; put a slight damper on demand. Now, for those willing to take the trip, extreme travel deals await.
Hotels have dropped prices by at least 30%, added buy 2 get 1 free deals, and even started to include value adds like meals or drinks to prices.
Properties were required to apply to Thai Tourism for special status to host ‘quarantine free’ visitors, and a lack of uptake has seen huge supply matched by disappointing demand, at the moment.
Phuket has always been a value haven in travel, bringing nearly unparalleled beauty at relatively low prices – particularly for western visitors. However. The current tourism industry challenges bring even more remarkable deals. Just how good?
Show Me The Deals!
Le Meridien Phuket, a Marriott Bonvoy property is currently charging circa $87 per night, all in with taxes. The rate even includes daily breakfast. For $110 USD per day, a rate including both breakfast and dinner can be secured!
Other Marriott Bonvoy properties include the five star Westin Phuket, for around $56 per day, and the Naka, a Luxury Collection resort for a mere $125 per day. It may be a pain to get to Phuket right now, but it may be a worthwhile pain!
Accor ALL fans can find bargains like the Pullman Phuket for $56 per day, or even the Banyan Tree Phuket under $275. The Anantara Phuket is also available for $125. Hyatt has a variety of other luxury centric options in the $125 plus range.
Travelers with access to Virtuoso, Hyatt Prive, Marriott STARS and other luxury travel benefits can find even greater value, with additional comps and upgrades to match the stunningly low rates. Thailand is sounding pretty good right now, even without the full experience.
What’s Open On Phuket?
For the time being, Phuket really is a “sandbox”. There’s no island hopping, at least not within the first 14 days of arrival. The complete shutdown of travel for the greater part of a year saw an untimely demise of many beloved restaurants and bars on the island, so many old time favorites may no longer exist.
As far as places to relax, enjoy natural beauty, swim, spa and work from anywhere though, Phuket is about as good as it gets.
Thailand plans to reopen more areas of the country to ‘quarantine free’ travel from October, and as more visitors arrive, so too may new and exciting new businesses on the islands.
With a sharp decrease in pollution and human interaction in the last year, the Thai Islands experienced a dramatic recovery in natural beauty, including key areas such as the beach from “The Beach”.
If value and beauty sound like an ideal travel equation to you, these early bird Phuket opportunities are absolutely worth a peek. Thailand has greatly simplified the entry process in recent weeks, including proof of vaccination, and the experience is only expected to improve.
Thanks Gilbert, interesting piece and it’s an appealing thought. The trick, living in London, might be how to get there without flying via a “Red” listed country. Google Flights is my next search!
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