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.
“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.