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Sanctions affecting Russian tourists in Phuket

Sanctions affecting Russian tourists in Phuket

PHUKET: Some Russian tourists in Phuket have been unable to pay for hotels or other tourist services due to sanctions against Russian-based banks which have left the tourists unable to use their credit cards.

By The Phuket News

Friday 4 March 2022, 06:06PM

The Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, shared the news this afternoon (Mar 4). Image: Phuket Info Center

The Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, shared the news this afternoon (Mar 4). Image: Phuket Info Center

The news was shared by the Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, this afternoon (Mar 4).

The post on the official Phuket Info Center cited a report by Thai-language news outlet Prachachat, which operates under the Matichon group.

The report was marked “Phuket hotel operators protest ‘sanctions - boycott’, noting that Russians tourists had been left without means to conduct financial transactions.

Most Russian tourists prefer to pay for goods and service by credit card, including hotels, accommodation, food and other products, the report said.

“Now hotel operators and some restaurants are starting to face problems that tourists do not have money to pay for accommodation and meals because they cannot use credit cards,” the report said.

“Some of them wanted to return [unclear as to return to where], but they couldn’t. because there is no cash,” the report added, citing an unnamed source in Phuket’s hotel industry..

The issue had been confirmed by Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Deputy Governor for Marketing for Europe, Americas and the Middle East, the report said.

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“At present, both Russian tourists and Ukrainians in Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya and other tourist destinations have started experiencing financial transactions during their trip in Thailand,” Mr Chattan said.

“The tourists cannot pay for the hotel room and other expenses via credit card, including making international money transfers (via SWIFT), after the ban on financial transactions with some major Russian banks,” he said.

“In addition, it also affects applying for a Thailand Pass for traveling to Thailand because tourists cannot transfer money for hotel reservations, airport transfer to the hotel, including the RT-PCR test fees,” Mr Chattan said.

Mr Chattan noted that the number of Russian tourists coming to Thailand had plunged. Since Mar 1, the number had fallen to 378 people per day, down from an average of 600-700 people a day, he said.

Russians have been the largest tourist source market segment since Nov 1, he said.

In total, 1.48 million Russian tourists visited Thailand in 2019, accounting for an estimated income of B96.2 billion, Mr Chattan noted.

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skorchio | 11 March 2022 - 07:30:19

Chinese locked in China, Russians locked in (and out of) Russia. Where to look for a quality tourist now ...... ? lmao

CaptainJack69 | 05 March 2022 - 12:12:31

They're surprised? Naturally they're all rushing to get on the next plane home and not trying to get yet another 'emergency' COVID visa extension. The sooner they all go home and kick out their criminal president the better off the entire world will be.

Kurt | 05 March 2022 - 11:01:07

Russian Embassador was on Phuket last week. Perhaps he asked Governors/Officials to support Russians here when needed?  And why not? Phuket gained many years so much from russian tourists/residents. It should be happy/feel obligated to do something back this difficult time the russians here are in.

JohnC | 05 March 2022 - 09:43:16

How times have changed. I remember when any Russian tourist here had a supply of American $ cash because nobody would accept Rubles and nobody would issue them with credit cards.

Kurt | 05 March 2022 - 09:25:29

What is the use of talking about number of russian tourists and their spending (just wrt finger work) during the 2019!  The world is now in year 2022, and under threat of a world war. When Putin gets Ukraine, his next move could be the Baltic States.

maverick | 05 March 2022 - 06:26:18

One has to feel for families caught up in this mess, many will probably have seen this coming and built up cash before restrictions came....not as if they haven’t been here before 98 is still fresh in memory. I hope Russian Embassy is providing assistance.

DeKaaskopp | 04 March 2022 - 23:25:53

What a load of crap Fascinated! Only a retiree with a regular pension can talk [edited] like this.

Madeinswiss | 04 March 2022 - 22:52:45

So poor russians touristes ,maybe needto ask  Poutine to pay for them 

christysweet | 04 March 2022 - 20:32:38

Don't look for any improvements  until the Nov elections in USA- GOPutin   means to retake Congress from Dems at any cost, and tanking the world economy a la Helter Skelter is the plan. 

Kurt | 04 March 2022 - 19:52:48

China still forbid chinese traveling abroad.. Now the Russia tourist segment dries up. European airlines can not fly over Ukraine and Russian airspace, so no tourist from Europe as tickets are very expensive. Quiet Phuket tourist times ahead. The rapid russian tourist plunge is just the beginning of Phuket get quiet again.

Nasa12 | 04 March 2022 - 19:25:10


Fascinated | 04 March 2022 - 18:55:36

'Phuket hoteliers protest'- I bet the Ukrainians are non too happy about the current situation either. As usual alp about profit here. Send the bills to Vlad- he started it!


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