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Phuket Poll: Should Phuket receive Russian tourists?

Phuket Poll: Should Phuket receive Russian tourists?


By The Phuket News

Tuesday 12 April 2022, 09:30AM

Russian tourists arrive on the first Aeroflot flight to return to Phuket after the COVID-19 ban on international arrivals was lifted in Nov 2021. Photo: AoT Phuket / file

Russian tourists arrive on the first Aeroflot flight to return to Phuket after the COVID-19 ban on international arrivals was lifted in Nov 2021. Photo: AoT Phuket / file

UPDATE: This poll was closed and the results rendered void after an online attack. See story here.

PHUKET: The issue of whether or not Phuket should receive Russian tourists to help provide much-needed incomes for people on the island has divided opinions among readers of The Phuket News as the move would fly in the face of international sanctions imposed on Russia over the atrocities being committed in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, although rare to comment publicly on the issue, has through other officials maintained that Thailand is to remain “neutral” over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Remaining “neutral” has left Thailand among 52 countries that Russia deems to be “friendly”, with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announcing last Monday that from last Saturday (Apr 9) Russia has allowed flights from the 52 “friendly” countries to operate in Russian airspace.

The move opens the door to airlines and tour operators to arrange travel to and from Thailand, with major travel operators inside Russia reporting a 20% jump in online searches by Russians seeking to travel to Thailand.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of the Phuket Tourist Association, has already reported that his association and its members were seeking ways to bypass the international sanctions to allow Russian tourists to come to Phuket. 

There are avenues for Russians to travel to Phuket without using a Russian-state-operated airline. Etihad and Emirates airlines are already operating flights into and out of Russia.

The issue has become controversial, with conscientious people not wanting to punish the average Russian citizen, many of whom do not agree with the invasion of Ukraine. More than 15,000 people in Russia have been arrested for publicly demonstrating against the invasion.

Yet supporters of the sanctions against Russia, led by the US and EU member countries, argue that it is an effective means to pressure the Russian government to end its military offensive, which has been widely reported by respected international news agencies to have targeted civilians, killing thousands, including women and children. Reports of the atrocities being committed, including rape and mass killings, have been horrific.

Meanwhile, thousands of people in Phuket are struggling for any means of income as the island’s tourism industry continues to be crushed by COVID-prevention policies.

C and C Marine

With all this in mind, The Phuket News asks readers: “Should Phuket receive Russian tourists?”

Responses available to the poll are:

1) No. Russia as a country must be held accountable for the action by its military.

2) No. Although many Russian people do not support the invasion, the Russian government must be pressured to end its invasion of Ukraine.

3) Yes, but only if Russian tourists pay independent international tour and travel operators that do not contribute to the Russian economy.

4) Yes, let Russian tourists come without restrictions as they are not the ones committing the invasion, and Thailand should think first about their own people’s struggle and help Ukraine in other ways.

To vote in the poll, click HERE.

If your preferred response is not presented in the poll, feel free to include it in the comments below.

The poll will close at midnight Friday night (Apr 15).

Comment on this story

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christysweet | 13 April 2022 - 10:15:10

Whoops,  CORRECTION: Yes, Phuket should receive peoples of  any and ALL countries. *IF THEY WEAR MASKS. Look at China killing off Muslims, think Thailand would consider  banning Chinese?

GodIsPerry | 13 April 2022 - 10:04:59

Remember, it is not only Europe and the United States that have the right to speak in this world. Are all countries criticizing Russia? It's just European and American countries. Are the inhabitants of other countries not human beings? They also have the power to speak.

christysweet | 12 April 2022 - 18:16:11

No of course not but, FFS Ruskies, WEAR THE MASKS 

BobTB | 12 April 2022 - 16:17:11

Frankly, if I didn't have family connections with Thailand I would seriously consider boycotting the country over its prioritising of money over principles. Perhaps Thailand could redeem itself by tipping off The Hague when suspected war criminals arrive on holiday so that they can be extradited.

Capricornball | 12 April 2022 - 15:36:34

Purely economic responses to the survey, as well put by Fascinated. Thias power brokers looking to bypass international sanctions so they can reap personal benefits.  Greed before humanity.  Disgusting and sad.

CaptainJack69 | 12 April 2022 - 14:47:48

Align yourself with Russia and ostracize the rest of the world. The only people who wouldn't care would be the Chinese. Is that to be Thailand's tourism future? Nothing but Russians and Chinese? If so you can count me out.

Nasa12 | 12 April 2022 - 14:46:05

Well this poll was hacked after 12 a clock to day. 

finnray | 12 April 2022 - 14:41:02

This is an absolutely stupid poll, as if it was invented by a person who is very far from understanding reality. How would stopping Tourism harm Russia? Russia does not make money on tourism in Thailand, is that even clear? And indiscriminately banning something and everyone on racial grounds - this is worse than nazism. Today Russians, tomorrow blacks? Is that how it works? Why didn't Thailan...

ThorFinger | 12 April 2022 - 12:03:43

What would be good would be to inform people about who some of the other countries Thailand has aligned itself with in staying neutral with Russia. Smacks of the same self interest shown at the second world war where Thailand was part of the Axis with Japan and Germany. 

Fascinated | 12 April 2022 - 10:54:17

;Seeking ways to bypass sanctions'- says it all. Greed above humanity. people in Phuket are surviving COVID. Its the Greed merchants at the top with theirclosed hotels and lack of other lucrative income that are really feeling the pinch with bank payments- serves them right for over-extending. Same as vehicle operators with loans

Kurt | 12 April 2022 - 10:44:50

JohnC, I advocate already long time that Phuket's future lays in 'diversity', and get rid of the 'all eggs in 1 basket thinking'. So far there is only a plan for  uge medical centre north end Phuket, specially for foreign medical tourism. But foreigners 'tourism' thinking is changing when it comes to Thailand. Specially as Thai rich go abroad for treatments/operations.

JohnC | 12 April 2022 - 09:40:15

Phuket has to stop relying on tourism for it's future. Diversify before it is too late to turn back.


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