Gov’t Confirms Phuket Sandbox, ASPS Expects Tourism Stocks to Enjoy Country Reopening

The government reaffirmed Phuket's reopening on July 1, 2021, Asia Plus Securities expects aviation and tourism-hotel stocks will enjoy positive sentiment from country reopening.

The Thai government reaffirmed Phuket’s reopening on July 1, 2021, under the “Phuket Sandbox” project, and three other popular Surat Thani destinations (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao) would soon follow on July 15, 2021, prior to the country’s full reopening in October.

Regarding Thailand’s reopening plan, also known as the “Phuket Sandbox” that allows quarantine-free travel, the Prime Minister stated that the country will be ready for foreign tourists within 120 days, most likely in October 2021. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports anticipates reopening major destinations on the following dates: July 1 for Phuket Sandbox, July 15 for Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao in Surat Thani, and August 1 for Koh Phi Phi, Railay, and Koh Ngai in Krabi, as well as Khao Lak and Koh Yao in Phang Nga.

International visitors will be allowed to enter and travel independently on the said island without quarantine required, provided they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and are from what the government deemed low- or medium-risk places – Xinhua.

However, Asia Plus Securities (ASPS) stated that country reopening highly depends on vaccine distribution and the spread of Covid-19. Currently, vaccine distribution slowed down to 91,900 people per day, while new case count accelerated to 3,000-4,000 cases per day. The market is also concerned about the spread of Covid-19 variants, especially Delta (first found in India) and Beta (first found in South Africa) that may speed up faster than Alpha (first found in the UK).

Country reopening plans may be delayed by a slowdown in vaccine distribution and the spread of new Covid-19 variants. Yet, the SET Index will be more affected by reopening since vaccination probably slows down for just a short term. The government will import more vaccines, from 100 million to 150 million doses. Plus, Japan is expected to donate  some vaccines to Thailand. 

Thus, ASPS expects many sectors will enjoy positive sentiment from country reopening, especially aviation i.e. Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) and Asia Aviation Public Company Limited (AAV) and tourism-hotel i.e. Central Plaza Hotel Public Company Limited (CENTEL), The Erawan Group Public Company Limited (ERW) and Minor International Public Company Limited (MINT).

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