Ambassador says Thailand must adapt tourism for Russians in current crisis

Photo via Phuket International Airport - HKT (December 2021

Even though 6,000 Russian and Ukrainian tourists are stuck in Thailand due to the current crisis, Thailand’s ambassador to Russia said Thailand needs to form new tourism tactics for them. The ambassador told the Bangkok Post Thailand should adapt tourism to help with Russians’ needs in the current crisis. One idea he suggested was an app to let Russians use digital money or crypto currency. This week, Mastercard and Visa suspended services in Russia, and to cards issued in Russia being used abroad.

The ambassador also said food tourism should market cheaper food to Russians, instead of just marketing delicacies like Tom Yum Kung. He said countries competing with Thailand for tourists, such as Turkey, Egpyt, and Dubai, have adapted to attract Russian tourists during the conflict.

“The country cannot offer traditional tourism anymore. We have to come up with value-added products to create new tourism experiences”.

Russians made of the biggest group of tourists in Phuket in December, and over 17,000 of them arrived on the Island that month. They were also a major part of tourism since pre-Covid days. But as of this Monday, there were only 2,763 Russian tourists in Phuket.

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Tourist operators, however, are keeping package deals to Asia and Thailand, especially for Labour Day and Victory Day.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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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