Bangkok, Aug 26 (SocialNews.XYZ) Over 3,000 international tourists have visited other designated tourist areas beyond Phuket in Thailand since a new program took effect on August 16, the country's Centre for Economic Situation Administration said.
The "Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension" program reduces the mandatory stay in the resort island for fully vaccinated international travellers from 14 to seven days, after which another seven days can be spent in alternative tourism hotspots in Krabi, Phang-Nga or Surat Thani, reports Xinhua news agency.
"The program signifies the progress of Thailand's plan to gradually reopen to fully vaccinated international travellers." said Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
More destinations will be added to the list, once the preparation of appropriate measures on health and safety are fully in place, he added.
So far, there have been a total of 24,190 tourists visiting the country under the Phuket Sandbox scheme, which was launched on July 1, allowing vaccinated foreign tourists from low-and-medium-risk countries to visit the island without undergoing a two-week quarantine.
The primary countries of origin of these travellers are the US, the UK, Israel, France and Germany.
Tourism is regarded as a key driver for the Thai economy.
The country attempts to restore the sector and prepare for a nationwide reopening for vaccinated foreign visitors by mid-October.