Thailand wants Russian tourists back

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Russian tourist signThailand, like many other destinations popular with Russian visitors, has been feeling the impact of the decline in Russian outbound travelers. Holidays overseas have become more expensive as the ruble significantly devalued in the recent past. Against the Thai baht, the ruble has decline over 30 per cent this year. However, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is confident that the Russian economy will soon be back on track.

Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, speaking at the OTDYKH Leisure Show held recently in Moscow, expressed her confidence that arrivals from Russia, will increase to almost 1 million visitors in 2015, from the current January-July 2015 total of 506,071.

In 2006, Russian visitor arrivals totaled 187,658. By 2014, this number had surged to 1.6 million Russian visitors.

TAT has been participating regularly in the Moscow show since 1995. The trade delegation included over 14 Thai exhibitors representing hotels, tour operators and travel-related agencies. It has played a major role in helping make Russia one of Thailand’s top ten sources of visitor arrivals.

Russia is Thailand’s largest source of visitor arrivals from Europe. It is also one of six countries that contributes more than one million annual arrivals, and one of only two countries that generates more female visitors than males.

One reason for the Minister’s projected turnaround is the outcome from the April 2015 visit to Thailand by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The visit was explicitly designed to boost bilateral trade and investment between Russia and Thailand, Russia’s largest trading partner in ASEAN.

The two countries, as well as signing new trade agreements, also signed a tourism cooperation agreement covering the period 2015-2017.

At the OTDYKH-Leisure show, the Russian travel industry was informed about the agreement to further develop U-tapao, Pattaya/Rayong’s International Airport. The first phase includes a new passenger terminal, which is expected to be completed in June 2016 and capable of handling three million passengers a year.

This will help Thailand better handle the growing demand by scheduled and charter flights from Russia to land directly at Utapao.

Russians can obtain a 30-day visa on arrival at major international Thai border checkpoints. As of September 2015, there are seven direct scheduled flights per week between Bangkok and Moscow operated by Aeroflot Russia Airlines. In addition, numerous scheduled and charter flights operate between major cities in Russia, the CIS countries and Thailand.

On the 29 March this year Thai Airways cancelled all Moscow flights as part of a cost cutting programme to reduce crippling loses around $436 million.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand, like many other destinations popular with Russian visitors, has been feeling the impact of the decline in Russian outbound travelers. Holidays overseas have become more expensive as the ruble significantly devalued in the recent past. Against the Thai baht, the ruble has decline over 30 per cent this year. However, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is confident that the Russian economy will soon be back on track.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Russian tourist signThailand, like many other destinations popular with Russian visitors, has been feeling the impact of the decline in Russian outbound travelers. Holidays overseas have become more expensive as the ruble significantly devalued in the recent past. Against the Thai baht, the ruble has decline over 30 per cent this year. However, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is confident that the Russian economy will soon be back on track.

Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, speaking at the OTDYKH Leisure Show held recently in Moscow, expressed her confidence that arrivals from Russia, will increase to almost 1 million visitors in 2015, from the current January-July 2015 total of 506,071.

In 2006, Russian visitor arrivals totaled 187,658. By 2014, this number had surged to 1.6 million Russian visitors.

TAT has been participating regularly in the Moscow show since 1995. The trade delegation included over 14 Thai exhibitors representing hotels, tour operators and travel-related agencies. It has played a major role in helping make Russia one of Thailand’s top ten sources of visitor arrivals.

Russia is Thailand’s largest source of visitor arrivals from Europe. It is also one of six countries that contributes more than one million annual arrivals, and one of only two countries that generates more female visitors than males.

One reason for the Minister’s projected turnaround is the outcome from the April 2015 visit to Thailand by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The visit was explicitly designed to boost bilateral trade and investment between Russia and Thailand, Russia’s largest trading partner in ASEAN.

The two countries, as well as signing new trade agreements, also signed a tourism cooperation agreement covering the period 2015-2017.

At the OTDYKH-Leisure show, the Russian travel industry was informed about the agreement to further develop U-tapao, Pattaya/Rayong’s International Airport. The first phase includes a new passenger terminal, which is expected to be completed in June 2016 and capable of handling three million passengers a year.

This will help Thailand better handle the growing demand by scheduled and charter flights from Russia to land directly at Utapao.

Russians can obtain a 30-day visa on arrival at major international Thai border checkpoints. As of September 2015, there are seven direct scheduled flights per week between Bangkok and Moscow operated by Aeroflot Russia Airlines. In addition, numerous scheduled and charter flights operate between major cities in Russia, the CIS countries and Thailand.

On the 29 March this year Thai Airways cancelled all Moscow flights as part of a cost cutting programme to reduce crippling loses around $436 million.

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