Prohibition of overseas trips means Phuket and Krabi are likely to become the preferred destinations for thousands of local administrators who would otherwise have been on study tours or seminars to Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam or wider afield, to Europe.
''I can see Phuket's domestic tourism numbers rising by 30 percent on the basis of this order from the prime Minister,'' said Dr Kritsada Tansakul, the Phuket-based southern director of the Thai Hotels Association.
''Competition for this home-grown market will be intense, with special prices targetting these groups already dropping by 30-50 percent.''
There was similar enthusiasm for the windfall authorities' market in Krabi, where the director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand for the province, Wiyada Srirangkul, told Phuketwan: ''Normally we have visitors from Malaysia, Singapore and China in the 'green' season and we think there will be hundreds of thousands of people from other provinces now looking south instead.''
Phuket and Krabi offered delightful extra activities unrivalled in other parts of Thailand, she said. ''It's good news for Phuket and Krabi,'' she said, ''Even if some local authorities might be disappointed that they can't go overseas.''
Special packages for seminars were already on offer throughout Krabi, she said.