Russian tourist surge boost Thai economy – media

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Thailand’s tourism and real-estate sectors are reportedly picking up quickly thanks to a growing number of visitors

Thailand’s economy has been rapidly recovering thanks to an increasing number of Russian tourists, the Bangkok Post reported on Tuesday. The newspaper noted that Russians are investing in real estate and local businesses.

There was a sharp inflow of Russians into the kingdom following the end of Covid-related restrictions and the imposition of travel limitations arising from Ukraine-related sanctions imposed by Western nations. This has reportedly stimulated a recovery for Thai small and medium-sized businesses, breathing new life into the local property market.

The real-estate sector in Phuket, one of the most popular destinations for Russians, has seen rapid post-Covid recovery as the island is popular with foreign tourists escaping cold weather in their homeland, according to Phatthanan Pisutwimol, the president of the Phuket Real Estate Association (P-REA), as quoted by the media.

“Russians are visiting Phuket in large numbers, which has helped the tourism sector here. They stay between one week and up to six months and most prefer to rent pool villas,” he said.

He added that many want to buy and live in pool villas rather than rent them, noting that Russian investors have also purchased and resold property or rented it out to others.

“Spending by Russian tourists has boosted the local economy in Phuket. Local tourism-related businesses hit by Covid are making a quick recovery,” Pisutwimo said.

Thailand saw an influx of around 300 Russian tourists every day after it reopened its borders and eased travel restrictions late last year. The daily number of visitors has since increased to around 700, according to President of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association Bhunanan Patanasin, as cited by the Bangkok Post.

More than 370,000 Russian tourists have arrived in the kingdom since January, when the season began. This represents sharp growth compared to 2022, when around 435,000 Russians visited during the entire year, Police Major General Phanthana Nutchanart, deputy commander of the Immigration Bureau, told the media.

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