Russian Tourists Flocking To Thailand Again

26 Apr 2017

With Russia’s recession a thing of the past, people from the country are heading to Thailand on holiday once again. Arrivals picked up in the last year with more than 1 million Russian visitors coming to Thailand, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office.

The TAT’s office in Moscow does not expect Russian arrivals to Thailand to decrease in 2017, reports The Phuket News. More than half of all visitors from Russia chose Phuket as their holiday destination with the Eastern Seaboard also a popular choice. One of the key trends last year was the fact that Russian arrivals were more spread out throughout the year.

“We analyse the structure of tourist flow throughout the year. During winter months, thanks to charter flights, there are more organised group tours. In summer – a little less: due to visa exemptions, more independent Russian tourists go to Thailand. In 2016, some 68 per cent of Russian tourists visited Thailand in winter and 32 per cent in summer, which is very good. In 2015 the distribution rate was 90 per cent versus 10 per cent, respectively,” says Konstantin Kinel, Head of Marketing at TAT Moscow, to The Phuket News.

The stabilisation of the Russian rubble and an economic recovery were not the only reasons Thailand saw more travellers from the country last year. The Kingdom did not have as much competition as in year’s past. Turkey and Egypt, 2 other top destinations for Russian tourists, each had issues making them less attractive to potential travellers. Both countries will once again be competing with Thailand in the near future, but this isn’t likely to hurt the country.

“Egypt and Thailand have never been direct competitors. They are in different niches, offer different tourism products, distances for travellers are also different,” says Kinel.

The TAT will work closely with Russian tour companies collaborating on financial and marketing support this year. An area the TAT is eager to promote is family tourism, one of the most important segments in the Russian market.

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