Thailand eyes document 2 million Russian tourists regardless of geopolitical tensions

With an increase in flights and a neutral position on the Russia-Ukraine battle, Thailand’s Tourism Authority (TAT) is poised to welcome a record-breaking 2 million Russian vacationers next yr. Khanittha Phanworawat, the Moscow office director, emphasises the pressing must preserve Thailand’s image as a pal to Russian travellers, as a measure to realize this bold goal, especially if different international locations persist in imposing sanctions on Russia.
Previously, Russian tourists commonly travelled to European locations for the summer season. But, counterintuitively, the warfare with Ukraine has seen them extend their excursions all yr long, turning Thailand right into a premier year-round destination. Khanittha acknowledges Thailand’s shifting status as the primary choice for many Russians, significantly those that spend generously and stay longer.
Since this year began, Thailand has received upwards of 840,000 guests from Russia, placing the nation within the high five tourist-generating nations. Unconventional projected a rise on this quantity, hinting at a possible match or surpass of the 1.48 million Russian vacationers welcomed in 2019.
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas, conveyed his optimism in regards to the return of flights between Thailand and Europe, including Russia. According to him, around 70% of the flight capability famous in 2019 has been restored this 12 months. This figure is anticipated to rise additional through the forthcoming hot season.
However, statistics from Russia’s Federal Border Guard Service and Thailand’s Immigration Bureau place Thailand as one of many prime 5 locations for Russian vacationers, after recording an inflow of 435,000 guests final year. The international locations that saw a better quantity of Russian vacationers include Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, welcoming approximately 3.7 million, 900,000, and 760,000 vacationers, respectively reported Bangkok Post.
Challenges persist within the tourism sector. Russian airlines, for example, are grappling with an inadequate fleet dimension, preventing them from offering direct flights. The economic sanctions imposed on Russia have additional strained the business, hampering plane insurance protection and, by extension, hindering the airlines’ growth efforts.
Despite the challenges, Khanittha stays hopeful to draw a larger phase of Russian tourists. She expresses that TAT will proceed to stimulate tourism demand via new segments, citing the likes of leisure travellers, adventure fanatics, well being and wellness vacationers, and honeymooners. Direct flights’ resultant bigger market dimension would incentivise airlines to reinforce their routes between Thailand and Russia..

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