Bangkok, 22 July, 2022 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been named the winner of the Social Empowerment category of the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards (AREA) 2022, for its ‘Leader in Opening the Phuket Sandbox for Foreign Tourists’ project that led the way in Thailand’s successful reopening to international tourism.
The prestigious award was officially presented during the AREA Virtual Awards Ceremony that was held live yesterday (21 July, 2022) from 14.00-17.00 Hrs. (Thailand time) on the YouTube channel Enterprise Asia TV, and watched by a worldwide audience of various organisations, agencies, entrepreneurs, and leading individuals in the CSR arena. The awards ceremony can be viewed on Youtube: Enterprise Asia at https://youtu.be/UZTwdbvlaMQ.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said “TAT is truly honoured to have been selected winner of the Social Empowerment category in the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards 2022. In our mission to reopen and revitalise Thailand’s tourism industry, the safety and benefit of the Thai people and local communities was among the key objectives and to be recognised for this on the world scene is very rewarding.”
The Social Empowerment category is one of seven categories awarded in Enterprise Asia’s Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards programme, which recognises and honours Asian businesses for championing sustainable and responsible business practices. The others are Green Leadership, Health Promotion, Investment in People, Corporate Governance, Circular Economy Leadership, and Corporate Sustainability Reporting, and there is also one category for Responsible Business Leadership. The Awards are built on six key pillars; namely, the Environment, Fair Practices, Health, Leadership, the Community and its People.
The Phuket Sandbox project was instrumental in the TAT’s mission to lead the revival of Thai tourism, to safely reopen Thailand to foreign tourists and begin to rebuild the country’s vital tourism industry. In this mission the TAT’s extensive efforts were carried out in cooperation with the airlines, airports, hotels, travel agencies, attractions, and various sectors of the industry, as well as government agencies like the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
The Phuket Sandbox project was launched on 1 July, 2021, as the pilot project for reopening Thailand to foreign tourists, and was subsequently followed by the opening of other destinations like Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan and Ko Tao), Phang-nga (Khao Lak and Ko Yao), and Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Railay Beach) and then other key cities around the country.
Introduced with the necessary health and safety precautions against COVID-19, the Phuket Sandbox project was initially available to fully vaccinated foreign tourists. They were required to stay at Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA)-certified accommodation, and to undergo COVID-19 testing. The SHA certification was introduced in May 2020, and was certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in alignment with the WTTC Safe Travels protocols.
“Thailand is now on the stage of fully reopening, and TAT would like to welcome everyone back to the kingdom with the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters’ tourism marketing campaign. We will continue to promote the kingdom as a world-class destination that offers something for everyone under the ‘From A-Z: Amazing Thailand Has It All’ concept. This will be showcased alongside the kingdom’s 5F, 4M soft-power foundations; namely, Food, Film, Fashion, Festival, Fight, Music, Museum, Master, and Meta,” said Mr. Yuthasak.