/* */

Koh Samui hoping for 200 international tourists during first reopening

29 Sep 2020

Hoteliers in Koh Samui are gearing up at each alternate local state quarantine (ALSQ) site to host an influx of visitors with health volunteers to ensure the protection of tourists and locals if new diseases are found. 

Ruengnam Chaikwang, president of the southern branch of the Thai Hotels Association (THA) for the east coast, said ALSQ hotels in Koh Samui had to train three voluntary hotel health staff for emergencies. 

The management of suspected illnesses of in-house visitors during quarantine is the duty of two hotel workers in the human resources department and the front office manager. 

The general manager is in charge of managing after assessing a suspicious case with local hospitals, he added. 

Following the successful training of the first batch of 32 hotel health volunteers by the THA, Surat Thani Rajabhat University, and the Ministry of Public Health, the association aims to provide all hotels authorized as ALSQs in Koh Samui with a two-day training program. 

On Sept 23, eight hotels passed the site inspection process performed by the commission, while the remaining 15 hotels are queuing in October for inspection. 

Many that have qualified for ALSQ status are mainly pool villas with sea views, far from major highways, in remote locations from city areas. Before they end the 14-day quarantine, these conditions help regulate the flow of visitors. 

Mr. Ruengnam said that Koh Samui, marketed as a smart city, often runs more than 1,000 CCTV cameras in each municipality to track the situation if visitors want to escape from the hotel. 

He said the public health system is set, as the island has planned 20 beds for Covid-19 patients in the intensive care unit as part of the worst-case scenario. 

"Koh Samui hospitals now have history in helping to revive seven promising incidents," Mr. Ruengnam said. "The operators are optimistic that we will reopen our doors to foreign visitors and deal with the island's virus condition." 

After the introduction of the Special Tourist Visa (STV) system was accepted in theory by the cabinet on Sept 15, a tourism strategy is beginning to take shape and operators will prepare to accept tourists, said Vorasit Pongkumpunt, president of the Koh Samui Tourism Association. 

He said that, ahead of the initial timetable, foreigners could arrive before December. 

 

Mr Vorasit said that operators are preparing to suggest to the Centre for Covid-19 Condition Administration meeting this month the Koh Samui bubble concept under the STV. 

The island hopes to draw 200 visitors out of a total of 1,200 visitors each month who are permitted to visit Thailand during the first reopening process.

Source Bangkok Post