Ed relates his 4-day adventure in the much-reported-on Phuket Sandbox. But spoiler alert: It wasn’t a great trip, mostly due to bad luck: it was gray and rainy almost the entire time, thus denying him quality beach time. Oh well.
But what was not bad luck was the way that the Thai government has marketed the Sandbox. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has repeatedly stated that Phuket is ‘open’ to tourism as of July 1st, and Ed took that to mean that the most popular area on the island, Patong, would actually be ready for tourists. Alas, this was not the case, with only a third of restaurants open and 95% of everything else closed.
With bad weather and not much to do, the trip was more or less doomed, but a glimmer of hope presented itself with a chance meetup with friend of the podcast Dan Fraser, travel expert extraordinaire, who coincidentally has been hired by the TAT to market Phuket to foreign tourists. Dan was able to explain that the TAT was focusing on ‘non-beach activities’ on the island of Phuket, such as environmental tours, museums, and local arts and culture events. Ed and Greg discuss this approach and largely agree with the TAT’s strategy; Ed just wishes he knew about it before booking a hotel in Patong. 🙂
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