Russia crisis hits popular Thai tourist spots

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Red square bar PattayaThere used to be swarms of buzzed Russian tourists lurching through Thailand’s beach and entertainment destinations such as Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui, but now a Nazdorovje (the Russian word for “cheers”) is rarely heard at those places.

Russia’s economic crisis and with it the sharp fall in the ruble is squeezing the hotel and tourism business in Thailand – especially in Pattaya and Phuket – through the current high season and will likely do so in the first quarter of 2015.

“Pattaya has been like a second home for Russian tourists and long-stay guests for many years. They have been contributing huge income to the country’s economy. But average hotel occupancy in the seaside resort [town] today is falling to 70 per cent from more than 90 per cent last year,” Supawan Tanomkieatipume, vice president for marketing at the Thai Hotels Association (THA), said.

Pattaya, which is said to be the most popular destination for Russians, has been suffering from a drop-off in arrivals since early this year due to the Russia’s economic problems and the recent plunge in the value of the ruble.

Pattaya is expected to continue feeling the pinch at least until the end of March. Its property market has also been hit hard as Russian. among the largest buyer group, are pulling out of real estate deals or simply cannot afford to pay their mortgage installments any more.

Two years ago, Russian visitors began to flock to Phuket as their new destination, but the island is experiencing a similar slump this year.

Russian tourists reached 1.4 million from January-November. However, December looms as a tragedy as hotel operators in Pattaya have reported that Russian guests are down 50 per cent from last year.

Thailand welcomed 1.7 million Russians last year. For years, the Russian market has ranked as the third largest source of tourists after China and Malaysia.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

There used to be swarms of buzzed Russian tourists lurching through Thailand’s beach and entertainment destinations such as Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui, but now a Nazdorovje (the Russian word for “cheers”) is rarely heard at those places.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Red square bar PattayaThere used to be swarms of buzzed Russian tourists lurching through Thailand’s beach and entertainment destinations such as Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui, but now a Nazdorovje (the Russian word for “cheers”) is rarely heard at those places.

Russia’s economic crisis and with it the sharp fall in the ruble is squeezing the hotel and tourism business in Thailand – especially in Pattaya and Phuket – through the current high season and will likely do so in the first quarter of 2015.

“Pattaya has been like a second home for Russian tourists and long-stay guests for many years. They have been contributing huge income to the country’s economy. But average hotel occupancy in the seaside resort [town] today is falling to 70 per cent from more than 90 per cent last year,” Supawan Tanomkieatipume, vice president for marketing at the Thai Hotels Association (THA), said.

Pattaya, which is said to be the most popular destination for Russians, has been suffering from a drop-off in arrivals since early this year due to the Russia’s economic problems and the recent plunge in the value of the ruble.

Pattaya is expected to continue feeling the pinch at least until the end of March. Its property market has also been hit hard as Russian. among the largest buyer group, are pulling out of real estate deals or simply cannot afford to pay their mortgage installments any more.

Two years ago, Russian visitors began to flock to Phuket as their new destination, but the island is experiencing a similar slump this year.

Russian tourists reached 1.4 million from January-November. However, December looms as a tragedy as hotel operators in Pattaya have reported that Russian guests are down 50 per cent from last year.

Thailand welcomed 1.7 million Russians last year. For years, the Russian market has ranked as the third largest source of tourists after China and Malaysia.

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