Thailand is pushing ahead with plans to jumpstart its crucial tourism industry by reopening the popular resort island of Phuket to vaccinated travelers, even as the more virulent delta strain of coronavirus sweeps through the region.

Starting Thursday, inoculated tourists from low- and medium-risk countries such as the U.S. and Spain will be allowed to holiday in Phuket without quarantining. If successful, the experiment could lead to a wider reopening of the Thai tourism industry as soon as October.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. Before the pandemic, tourism contributed about 20% of Thailand’s gross domestic product — about double the global average. On Phuket, tourism accounts for more than 90% of the economy and employment. But with beaches empty and many restaurants, bars and massage parlors shuttered, average income is expected to drop below the poverty line this year.