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Arrivals from Russia | Gang related Crimes

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  • Arrivals from Russia | Gang related Crimes

    Russian flights keep arriving in Thailand, for now.....

    Aeroflot, Ural Airlines and S7 Airline planes are still arriving on schedule in Thailand today as nothing has changed, thus far, as flights into Thai airports from Russia are concerned. But Thailand’s tourism tzars continue to monitor Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the world looks to ways of pressuring and sanctioning Russia, including access to its airlines across the world.

    At this stage there has been no official comments coming from the Thai government about the invasion of Ukraine or any Thai reaction to the conflict, beyond assuring Thais in Ukraine that they will be evacuated.
    Russian arrivals ranked Number One in Thailand during the first 22 days of the resumption of the Test & Go program, from February 01 – 22. 2022 a total of 13,063 Russian tourists (with the highest Covid infection ratio) arrived in Thailand over that time, followed by 10,412 visitors from Germany and 8,900 from France.
    • No wonder about the official silence - Thai and Russian politicians are not democratic leaders. Both are autocratic regimes who dont care about people, freedom or independency. They are primarely interested to retain their personal power.

    Both Russia and China were two of Thailand’s top feeder markets before 2020, the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chinese will remain notably absent until, probably, later in 2022. Now the Russian tourist tap may be switched off as well.

    But with the developing conflict in Ukraine, the Russian Ruble has dropped around 18% against the Thai baht, since February 9, putting further pressure on Russian tourists travelling to Thailand at this time. Despite fluctuations, the Ruble is again on another downward trend versus most international currencies since the invasion on Thursday.

    The other major threat to tourism arrivals, from just about anywhere in the world, is the huge surge in oil prices which will eventually hit plane ticket prices, including domestic flights within Thailand.

    Oil prices briefly topped US$100 a barrel on Thursday reflecting panic in the first hours of the Russian invasion, the first time they’ve surpassed the US$100 mark since 2014, but they fallen back slightly since. In the 2020’s the average price was about US$39 a barrel.

    So far there hasn’t been any immediate, or tangible, increase in flight prices inside Thailand, or internationally, but aviation experts believe that it’s just a matter of time. They note that airlines with the youngest fleets, and the most fuel-efficient aircraft, will suffer the least as a direct result of the rising oil and, consequently, av-gas prices.

    Following this week’s alteration of Test & Go program requirements, removing the pre-paid PCR test and night of accommodation on Day 5 (and replacing it with a self-ATK test to be uploaded onto the Mor Phrom App), tourism operators expect an uptick of new bookings, but fresh applications for the Thailand Pass remain under original predictions.

    Tourism operators also believe that nurturing the newer feeder markets, of India and Saudi Arabia, will play a crucial role, both during the ongoing tensions in Central Europe, and the onset of Thailand’s low season.
    Then there’s the surge in cases of Omicron in Thailand and how the government will react to that over the coming month.

  • #2
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    Ukrainian and Russian tourists in Thailand face problems with financial transactions, travel

    Many Ukrainian and Russian tourists in Thailand have been facing problems with financial transactions and travel following measures launched by various countries banning and blocking services by Russian banks and close airspace to Russian aircraft. Having arrived in Thailand, in the thousands, during February, they’ve now found themselves somewhat stranded by both fallout from the international sanctions as well as a lack of flights back to Russia or Ukraine.

    On Koh Samui, many Russian and Ukrainian tourists have not been able to use their credit cards, according to the president of the island’s tourism association, Ratchaporn Poolsawat.

    Some Ukrainians have wanted to stay in Thailand until the situation in their home country improves, but have not been able pay for accommodation or food with their credit cards, the tourism official says. Others who have wanted to travel back cannot due to cancelled flights.

    Prospects look bleak as March continues with both the sanctions and the invasion of Ukraine ongoing.

    The tourism official says he asked local businesses to gather information on the problems the tourists are facing so state departments can work to find solutions. He added that tourists at other top destinations like Phuket and Pattaya are likely facing similar problems.

    Tourists and expats, from both Ukraine and Russia, have banded together in different locations around Thailand, to show solidarity for peace with joint protests.


    • #3
      Travel in 2022 – how Russia is reshaping the world’s travel industry

      Russians were the most visible travellers heading to Thailand post February 1, 2022, when the Thailand Pass Test & Go option was rebooted. Even with its 2 days of pre-booked SHA+ quarantine and PCR tests, along with US$50,000 Covid insurance (which has since been reduced to $20,000), the Russian travellers were delighted to jump on a plane and take the long trip to the much warmer Land of Smiles. That situation has now radically changed and the world is reverberating to the full impact of Russia’s aggression and the invasion of Ukraine.

      Now there’s a mere trickle of daily flights between Russia and either Suvarnabhumi or Phuket in Thailand. Whilst much of the rest of the world have said ’nyet’ to the arrival of any planes from Russia, Thailand is still allowing them to arrive. But even if the planes are still coming (albeit in vastly reduced numbers), the pressure of world sanctions, bans and the plunge of the Russian Ruble has already made the decision for any potential Russian travellers.

      Now, the latest data from ForwardKeys, shows that the Russian invasion of Ukraine, now into its 9th day, has prompted an instant spike in flight cancellations to and from Russia, worldwide. On the day after the first tanks rolled into Ukraine, every booking that was made for travel to Russia was outweighed by six cancellations of existing bookings.

      Russians escaping their bleak winter and heading to sunnier destinations were suddenly cancelling their trips. The cancellation rates between February 24 – 26 were Cyprus (300%), Egypt (234%), Turkey (153%), the UK (153%), Armenia (200%), and Maldives (165%).

      Bookings for March, April and May were already reaching 32% of the pre-Covid levels of travel for outbound Russians. They were heading to Mexico, Seychelles, Eygpt and Maldives. And Thailand. The outlook for Q3 this year was looking even stronger.

      All that Russian travel enthusiasm has now collapsed and, given the harsh economic weapons thrown at Vladimir Putin, his banks, his ‘friends’ and his citizens, any recovery will be a long, long way down the track. Even if there was a swift and unexpected reversal of the Ukraine situation, Russia has already been dealt a fatal economic blow – in just one week the country been turned into a pariah state and much of the rest of the world seems happy to punish the entire country for Putin’s violence.

      For countries like the Seychelles, Maldives and Cyprus, Russian arrivals represented a high percentage of their international arrivals. In Thailand that was about 8% of the total tourist mix. And, whilst the Chinese are still in China for at least the rest of this year, the loss of the Russian travel market probably represented an even higher percentage of tourists that won’t be coming to Thailand in 2022.

      According to ForwardKeys, before Russia invaded Ukraine, the top twenty destinations most booked by Russian travellers in March, April and May were…. Number one, Turkey, then the UAE, the Maldives, Thailand, Greece, Egypt, Cyprus, Armenia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Bulgaria, Mexico, Spain, Azerbaijan, USA, UK, Qatar, Italy and Uzbekistan.

      The world travel industry will be further hit by rising airfares (due to the sharp surge in oil prices), cancellations of routes (across Eastern Europe), a higher resistance to international travel (for perceived safety reasons) and a lingering instability in world politics.

      While the Thailand Pass is still seen by many potential travellers as a significant barrier to their choice of Thailand as their next travel destination, and the Russian and Chinese traveller-tap turned off, Thailand’s immediate travel future looks bleak. And this follows nearly 2 years of border closures, false restarts, over-hyped TAT arrival projections and the former Thai tourism workforce heading home to find other work.

      The loss of the Russian travellers underscores a critical need for the Thai government to quickly modify the Thailand Pass, or scrap it completely. With so many other factors now making international travel difficult, Thailand will have to rethink their short to medium term tourism strategies to retain its share of the international travel market.

      Of course there is no comparison of the humanitarian tragedy underway inside the borders of Ukraine at this time, but Russia’s aggression will likely have much more long-term, and far-reaching, effects than the clear and present danger it poses on the Ukranian nation right now.


      • #4
        Russians in Phuket granted 1 month extension to stay

        Despite Russia banning Facebook in the country just two days ago, the Russian Consulate in Phuket posted on its Facebook page yesterday to announce that Russian citizens there can stay one month longer than the original date on their visa. To do this, they must go to Phuket immigration with their original letter from the consulate, their passport, and a document confirming where they live in Phuket.

        This afternoon, the consulate will send letters to Phuket immigration requesting the extension. Reception will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Phuket immigration has so far not made any announcements about extensions for Russians, or Ukrainians. The consulate’s Facebook post stressed that the extension for Russians is mainly for those who are stranded due to canceled flights.

        “P.S, Please note that the issuance of letters is primarily intended for citizens who are ‘stuck’ on the island due to canceled flights, and whose visa/stamp expires in the coming days”.

        The consulate said it will inform Russians about the date of the next reception on this issue. In December, Russians made up Phuket’s biggest tourist demographic, with over 17,000 coming that month. They have been a major component of Phuket’s tourism since pre-Covid days. What TAT forgot to mentioned is that Russians tourism only comes with a sky high covid infection rate.


        • #5
          Russian embassy warns Thais “don’t fight with Ukrainians”, threatens prosecution

          Yesterday, the Embassy of Russia in Bangkok posted on Facebook urging Thais not to join the Ukrainian military. The post was originally in Russian, but viewers can see a translated version in English.The embassy alleges that under international law, such ‘merceneries’ who join Ukrainian forces are not qualified as combatants, and have no status as prisoners of war. It says the best-case-scenerio for them is detention and prosecution.

          Thais with military experience have signed up to fight with Ukrainian forces, though it’s unclear exactly how many. Some of them cite a sense of duty to stand up for a small country against a big country invading it.

          “I hate to see strong people harassing weak ones. I am ready to quit as a volunteer ranger and fly to Ukraine if I am recruited to join the fight.”
          This news comes a week after the Ukrainian president posted an appeal to foreigners to come to the Ukraine to help its forces fight Russia’s military invasion.


          • #6
            Phuket, Krabi resorts no longer accepting credit cards from Russian guests

            Resorts and hotels in tourist destinations such as Krabi and Phuket are no longer accepting credit cards from Russian guests, according to a Thai PBS World report. The decision comes after 7 Russian banks were excluded from the SWIFT financial global messaging system, leaving many Russians overseas unable to use their credit cards.

            Card providers Mastercard and Visa have also announced a suspension of services in Russia, although Russian banks have downplayed the effect of the move. However, the Russian Central Bank has advised its citizens to carry other forms of payment while travelling. One resort on the island of Phi Phi, in Krabi province, says it’s now only accepting cash payments from Russian guests.

            In Thailand, the Melia Hotel group says a number of Phuket properties have been consulting with the Bank of Thailand about the issue facing Russian tourists, as they attempt to find a way to accept payments from their guests.

            According to the Thai PBS World report, around 15% of advance bookings from Russian tourists have been cancelled since the US and the EU introduced harsh sanctions against Russia, following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

            Until recently, Thailand was welcoming around 700 Russian visitors a day under the Test & Go entry scheme. Since the start of March, this has dropped to fewer than 400 a day. Russians traditionally favour the beach destinations of Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Samui, during the months of March and April, with most staying for between 7 and 21 days. Since Thailand’s re-opening on November 1, over 63,000 Russian visitors have arrived in the kingdom, generating around 1.4 Billion THB in tourist revenue.


            • #7
              Thai government looking at ways to help stranded Ukrainian, Russian tourists

              The Thai government says over 7,000 Ukrainian and Russian tourists affected by flight cancellations will be allowed to extend their visas free of charge. It’s one of a number of measures officials are implementing to help visitors stranded as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Other measures potentially include offering shelter and access to a Chinese payment platform, according to a Bangkok Post report.

              The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, says most of the 7,000+ tourists from Ukraine and Russia are in Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, and Pattaya. Those who need to extend their stay can do so without having to pay the usual 1,900-baht fee. Russians who want to return home may be repatriated by the Russian government, but will not be deported by Thailand, according to the TAT governor.

              Those who are unable to return home due to cancelled flights or the ongoing conflict in Ukraine could be offered shelter, courtesy of the government. The Bangkok Post reports that locations being considered for this are Phuket and Pattaya.

              The report goes on to say that tourism operators are now working with the Chinese payment platform, UnionPay, to help tourists affected by sanctions that prevent them using cards issued by Russian banks. Some tourism associations have suggested the government allow the use of cryptocurrencies for tourists unable to make payments any other way.

              In related news, it’s reported some private hospitals are unwilling to offer Covid-19 treatment to Russian tourists due to the financial sanctions and the risk they may not be able to pay. Yuthasak says the government is looking at ways to ensure these patients receive treatment if necessary.

              Meanwhile, Bhummikitti Raktaengam from the Phuket Tourist Association says flight cancellations by Russian carriers Aeroflot and S7 Airlines have affected future Phuket arrivals. Both carriers previously operated direct routes from many parts of Russia. Bhummikitti says there are currently between 3,500 and 4,000 Russian tourists in Phuket and 300 – 400 Ukrainians.


              • #8
                Call centre set up to help Ukrainian and Russian tourists in Phuket

                With a number of Russian and Ukrainian expats and tourists in Phuket, a call centre has been set up in the island province to help those who may need assistance during the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Those who need assistance can call 0939372086 or 0948191124. A local tourism official says the centre is prepared to help Ukrainians and Russians immediately.

                The call centre is run by the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Phuket office and is helping the tourists with booking accommodation and working out financial problems. Russian-language interpreters from the Andaman Guide Association have also joined the centre to help answer calls and solve problems.

                It is estimated that around 3,500 – 4,000 Russians and Ukrainian traveller, mostly Russian tourists, remain in Phuket. Flight cancellations have left thousands stranded and Russian banks have been cut from the SWIFT system, Mastercard and Visa.

                Of the top five nationalities of foreign tourists who visit Phuket, Russian tourists take the number one spot this year; far exceeding the numbers of German, English, French and Swedish people who visit the island. At least two airlines have suspended direct flights between Thailand and Russia, leaving many tourists stranded. On March 8, Aeroflot, Russia’s flag carrier, temporarily ceased all international flights.

                The TAT governor ordered the office to open a call centre to help Russian and Ukrainian tourists with any problems they might be facing, according to the director of the TAT’s Phuket office. The centre is cooperating with the Phuket Tourist Association, the Consulate of Russia in Phuket, the Tourist Police, the Immigration Police and the Andaman Guide Association. Travel agencies and tourists themselves have stepped in to help by providing information about the situation.

                The president of the PTA says that a request was sent out to all members asking them to look after Russian and Ukrainian tourists in Phuket. He added that if the conflict continues, it will definitely affect tourism on the island. Many Russian tourists travel to Thailand seasonally, most arriving between November and March, and the number is expected to decrease, he says. The association is looking for a new market to compensate for the lack of incoming Russian tourists.

                Although numbers of Russian tourists have dropped slightly, Russians still comprise the highest number of foreign tourists in Phuket, according to the director of the TAT’s Phuket Office. Since the conflict began, some Russians have managed to enter Thailand by flying out of Moscow or St. Petersburg and changing in the Middle East, but not many.

                There are also daily direct flights from the far east of Russia arriving in Bangkok and Phuket – today a total of only 2 flights (from Vladivostok and Novosibirsk) on Ural Airlines. Few Ukrainian tourists remain on the island.


                • #9
                  Not all Russians and Ukrainians will get free visa extensions

                  Trapped in Thailand, Russian tourists enjoy the fun of the beach.The Tourist Authority of Thailand has confirmed that a registration process is required if stranded Russian and Ukrainian visitors require a free 30 days extension of stay. Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said they should register with their respective embassy or consulate to be labeled in one of three groups: those wishing to return home, those with cash-flow issues and those in need of humanitarian assistance.

                  Russians were being told yesterday at Pattaya and Bangkok immigration offices to obtain a letter from their embassy before free extensions could be issued. The immigration hotline also said that many Russian and Ukrainian nationals still in Thailand, maybe 25,000, were expats with longstay visas or work permits who were not in the same dire straits as vacationers. The Thai Cabinet had already authorized the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to identify individuals in need.

                  The tourism association president in Phuket, Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, said that about half of those stranded were on the island of Phuket and that hotels had been requested to reduce prices and extend stays if necessary. He added that the biggest single problem was that Visa, Mastercard and American Express had stopped working for the stranded groups. However, some had been able to use China’s UnionPay if their account had been registered or was linked to the Russian Mir payment system.

                  There are believed to be far fewer Ukrainians – under one thousand – still in Thailand as many had heeded the advice of their embassies to return prior to the invasion. Most of those on tourist visas were already in Bangkok to be near their diplomatic post. Proposals are being considered to use cryptocurrency for payments at hotels and tourist businesses. Ukrainian nationals are unable to return as their country’s airspace is closed to passenger aircraft, whilst flights to and from Russia are very badly disrupted because of international sanctions and the grounding of planes because of the lack of spare parts.


                  • #10
                    3,200 Russian tourists stuck in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao area

                    An Honorary Consul from the Russian Consulate in Surat Thani met with the Koh Samui district chief officer this morning, March 9th, to discuss solutions to assist Russian tourists who were affected by the Russia-Ukraine war. Honorary Consul Ashwani Bajaj and Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association president Ratchaporn Phoonsawas arrived at the Koh Samui District Office at around 10:00 AM. to meet District Chief Officer Chayapol Inthasupha to discuss ways to provide assistance for 3,200 Russian tourists who were traveling in ​​Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao.

                    They were currently unable to return home due to airspace closures, airlines shutting temporarily due to sanctions, and to make payments via most credit cards and international transfers due to a ban of selected major Russian national banks. Some had been able to work with Unionpay, a Chinese company, to gain access to funds, but many were still struggling.

                    Initially, the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association had coordinated with the Immigration Office to extend the staying period for Russian and Ukrainian tourists.

                    The Russian Consulate would also set up a Russian-tourist assistance center to receive complaints from Russian tourists via the Telegram application where officials would collect such information before forwarding them to the Russian Embassy in Thailand to seek solutions.

                    Thousands of Russians and Ukrainian tourists are essentially stranded throughout Thailand due to the ongoing conflict, with most in the Surat Thani, Phuket, and Pattaya areas. Officials continue to work with the Russian Embassy, Thai Immigration, and relevant tourism associations to find solutions to assist those in need.


                    • #11
                      Phuket call centre for Russians and Ukrainians gets positive reviews

                      Russians and Ukrainians stranded in Phuket are reportedly grateful for a new call centre that Phuket authorities set up to help them. One Thai guide who speaks Russian said he took calls from both Russians and Ukrainians to help them coordinate with Phuket immigration on visa issues.

                      “The felt that they were not abandoned”.
                      The director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket said most of the Russian and Ukrainian tourists have asked for help with airlines, flights, visas, credit cards, and costs of accommodation and travelling back home. She added that tourists in Bangkok also called the centre, because it was the first centre launched to help stranded tourists. She said TAT will compile a list of the Russians and Ukrainians who requested assistance. They will be split into travellers who want to return to their home country, and those who want to stay in Thailand but need funds to do so.

                      The call centre can be reached at 0939372086 or 0948191124. It provides Russian speakers.

                      Phuket’s Vice Governor Pichet Panapong said on Wednesday that there are currently about 5,000 Russians and Ukrainians in Phuket. There are currently over 7,000 Russian and Ukrainian tourists across Thailand.


                      • #12
                        Tourism official proposes payment solutions for Russians in Phuket

                        Following the move by Mastercard and Visa to cut off services to cards issued in Russia, Phuket tourism officials are proposing solutions for Russians stranded there. Yesterday, the president of the Phuket Tourism Business Association proposed three possible solutions: Allow Thai commercial banks to support Russia’s Mir payments system, allow the use of Chinese payment systems such as union pay, or allow cryptocurrencies to be used as a payment method.

                        “This three-pronged proposal to TAT and BoT would offer a solution to this problem”.
                        The president said there are currently about 3,000 Russian tourists stranded in Phuket. He said many of them can’t return home because they can’t access financial funds. Others, he said, can’t return home because their flights are suspended.

                        The Phuket tourism president isn’t the only official calling on Thailand to adapt to stranded Russians’ situation. Earlier this week, Thailand’s ambassador to Russia said Thailand’s tourism industry must help with Russians’ needs. He suggested food tourism advertise more affordable dishes, and not just delicacies. Like the tourism president, the ambassador also suggested letting Russians in Thailand use cryptocurrency as payment. He said countries competing with Thailand for tourists, such as Turkey, Egpyt, and Dubai, have adapted to attract Russian tourists during the conflict.

                        While there are about 3,000 Russians currently in Phuket, there are 5,000 Russians and Ukrainians on the island combined. There are currently over 7,000 Russian and Ukrainian tourists across Thailand. 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.

                        The fucking Thai Military brothers in arms are doing everything for money !
                        How about an embargo of Thailands Tourism from the free world ? Or send the military at the next election to hell !


                        • #13
                          Pattaya opens hotline to support stranded Ukrainian and Russian tourists

                          The Pattaya Tourist Police have launched a hotline to help Ukrainians and Russians facing financial issues or cancelled flights due to the conflict in Ukraine. Tourists and expats in Pattaya can call the hotline number at 1155 or use the application Tourist Police i lert u. Thousands of Russian tourists are stranded in Thailand due to flight cancellations and sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. A tourism official says there are currently around 3,100 Russian tourists stranded in Phuket and more than 2,000 on Koh Samui.

                          The Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Cabinet have been working to find the solution and offering support to tourists from Ukraine and Russia. Those tourists can now extend their 30-day visas for free and the government is working to set up temporary accommodation for those who a stuck in Thailand. With financial transactions through Russian banks blocked, the government is looking at alternative methods of payment.

                          Phuket has also announced a hotline for Ukrainian and Russian tourists to contact. The call centre can be reached at 0939372086 or 0948191124 (Russian speakers are available).


                          • #14
                            Thousands of Russians stranded in Thailand due to flight cancellations, sanctions

                            The Tourism Authority of Thailand says thousands of Russian holidaymakers are stranded in the kingdom as flight cancellations and sanctions over the war on Ukraine hit hard. According to Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya from the TAT, there are currently 3,100 Russian tourists stranded on Phuket, over 2,000 on Koh Samui, as well as Russian holidaymakers in Krabi, Phang Nga, and Bangkok.

                            International sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine are affecting Russian tourists, with many Russian carriers forced to cancel flights and global payment systems suspending their services. Bhummikitti Ruktaengam from the Phuket Tourist Association says Russian visitors on the island have been badly affected by Mastercard and Visa suspending operations in Russia.

                            “We have seen instances of difficulty in card payments by Russians in Phuket due to how Mastercard and Visa have suspended services in Russia.”
                            Bhummikitti says tourism officials may adopt the Russian electronic fund transfer system, Mir, as well as allowing tourists to use digital currencies. With Thailand’s tourism sector only just beginning to recover from the pandemic, Russians were among the largest group of holidaymakers until the crisis in Ukraine developed. Now, according to an AFP report, many Russian tourists find themselves stuck here.

                            Evgenia Gozorskaia, a psychologist who arrived from Russia on February 27 with her husband and children aged 7, 4, and 2, says the family was supposed to fly home on March 28, but their Aeroflot flight has been cancelled.

                            “We are very nervous because the children are very small, we don’t have enough money to live here. We want to go tomorrow to the airport, but I don’t know what the situation will be.”
                            Gozorskaia knows of some Russian holidaymakers who’ve managed to get new flights but says her family has so far not been able to get hold of anyone who can help.

                            “They say that they cannot do it and put the phone off.”
                            Russian flights are not banned in Thailand, with the Thai government adopting a neutral stance on the Ukraine invasion. However, Russian carrier Aeroflot has been forced to cancel flights as a result of international airspace restrictions. Tourists are now desperately seeking other routes home, including with other airlines travelling via the Middle East.


                            • #15
                              Phuket tourism official reports low number of calls to Russian, Ukrainian helpline

                              An official from the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Phuket office says most Russian and Ukrainian tourists on the southern island appear to be “coping”. Nanthasiri Ronasiri says there have not been that many calls to a hotline set up specifically to help tourists stranded by cancelled flights or facing financial problems as a result of sanctions on Russia.

                              Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to global condemnation and international sanctions on Russian airlines and the suspension of payment systems and services such as Visa and Mastercard. However, according to a Bangkok Post report, Nanthasiri says only around 15 Russian tourists have contacted the TAT’s helpline since it launched last Wednesday.

                              “They sought information about airlines, credit cards, and visas, and most of them had no problems.”
                              The call centre, set up to help both Russian and Ukrainian tourists, can be reached on 093 937 2086 and 094 819 1124. The Bangkok Post reports that the lines are manned by Russian speakers and are open from 8.30am to 7pm. According to Nanthasiri, a number of Russian tourists say they’ve been in touch with their embassy and are waiting for officials to arrange repatriation flights. They have reported no payment problems, saying they have enough funds for their stay. There was no information on Ukrainian tourists.

                              Meanwhile, local tourism operators say they’re no longer seeing Russian tourists on Phuket beaches. Prior to the war on Ukraine, Russians accounted for between 70 and 80% of tourists on the island’s beaches. Since the start of the war, that has plummeted to around 5% and operators say beachgoers are now mainly German, Italian, Danish, or Swedish.