Koh Samui sees influx of Russian tourism

PHOTO: Koh Samui is seeing a spike in European and Russian tourism. (via Yavor Punchev Unsplash)

With flights increasing from Russia to Thailand, Koh Samui is seeing an increase in European travellers. The holiday island expects to see a surge in Russian tourism in particular, especially in December to close out the year. Russian tourism has been a big revenue-producing staple of Koh Samui but was stymied by the Covid-19 pandemic and then the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Aeroflot, the main national airline of Russia, will be increasing flight services. The Tourism Authority of Thailand branch in Moscow and the Russian Embassy have both confirmed three flights a day from Russia to Bangkok and Phuket beginning at the end of November reports Thai Newsroom.

The return of Russians is expected to bring a big boost to tourism on Koh Samui and the surrounding islands, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao. Residents of Russia and other European countries that experience freezing cold winters are plotting their escape to the warm tropical weather in Thailand.

The president of the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association is making a bold prediction that, in the last month of the year, the island will see similar tourist numbers as it did before Covid-19. Both foreign and local travel agencies are seeing a strong increase in international bookings for the rest of the year.

Agents have seen a trend of incoming tourists making advanced bookings for shorter lengths of time than in previous years. Tourism businesses are adapting to that change to focus their public relations campaigns and marketing plans to fit the current demand.

Russian tourists, along with European tourists, flocking back is a welcomed sight for Koh Samui, an island where tourism is the number one industry and coconut production a distant second. The new flights from Russia, along with many neighbouring countries to Russia planning flight service enter Thailand, is hoped to give the tourism market an extra big kick before the end of 2022.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.