PhuketTourism

Phuket sees over 50,000 Russian tourists in past month

PHUKET, THAILAND- JAN 23, 2016: Crowds of tourists at Patong beach on Jan 23, 2016 in Phuket, Thailand. Phuket is a popular destination famous for its beaches.

Russian tourists seem to be arriving in Phuket in droves with over 50,000 of them landing on its shores in November. This month, 55,097 Russians made their way to the island province, making up its largest tourist group.

The second largest tourist group in Phuket this month came from India, with 26,525 travellers, according to Phuket Immigration. The third largest group was Australians, with 13,868 tourists while the British made up the fourth largest group with 12,340 tourists. Germans came in fifth place, with 11,097 tourists.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, China had been Phuket’s biggest tourist market.

The Director of the Tourism of Thailand (TAT) Phuket office, Nanthasiri Ronnasiri told The Phuket Express…

“From January to October this year Phuket generated more than 119 billion baht. This number shows that Phuket tourism has increased by 80% even if we don’t have Chinese tourists.”

The recent swarm of Russian tourists in Thailand has taken the country’s tourism forces completely by surprise. Despite the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the Russian tourism market has returned much quicker than expected, according to the president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA).

Chartered flights to Phuket and Pattaya are being filled by Russian tourists. Less than two weeks after Russian airlines made their triumphant return to Phuket, Aeroflot has announced an increase in direct flights to the island. The flagship airline of Russia announced on November 12 that it would be adding 14 new flights a week from Russia to Phuket.

Koh Samui also expects to see a surge in Russian tourism, especially in December. 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.

Last week, TAT’s deputy governor said the number of Russian tourists flying to Thailand is expected to reach 1 million next year.

As of October 26, Thailand witnessed 7,349,843 international tourists arriving, surpassing the seven million mark. It’s put the country within its goal range set by the TAT of seven to 10 million visitors for 2022.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.
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