Russian and Ukrainian tourists are stuck in Thailand

 Wednesday, March 23, 2022 


The tourism in Thailand has been severely impacted by the Ukrainian war. Already the tourism industry in Thailand was severely impacted by the COVID restrictions and the closure of the borders of Thailand. The tourist towns like Phuket suffered badly and nearly 200,000 tourism-related jobs vanished. As the restrictions were eased, the travel industry was trying to get back in Thailand. But their biggest earner of the Thai tourism industry, the Chinese tourists were facing severe restrictions from their national government who were making it difficult to travel.

This gap was fulfilled by the Russian tourists at least 17,000 making them the largest group among foreign visitors to Phuket. The signs in Cyrillic script, and restaurants offering a taste of home with borscht and pelmeni dumplings on the menu along the Phuket’s top beaches, Karon, Kata and Patong, show this trend. But now there are 7000 Russians are trapped in Thailand as many airlines have cancelled their flights home.

The Russian tourists are now facing some problems mostly related to finance and money. As the various Russian banks have been removed form the global SWIFT system, the tourists have trouble to withdraw money from the ATM and are unable to use their credit cards. Many tourists were worried about repercussions back home, where even calling the events in Ukraine a war can result in prosecution.  

Even there were some Ukrainian tourists, who were stranded in Thailand were facing worse situation than the Russians. However, many expatriates are helping the tourists to stay back by arranging hostels and offering discounted meals. The Thai government and Russian Embassy are starting trying to arrange alternative methods are still flying there. The departure of Russian tourists will again starve the tourism industry of the country.

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