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Phuket Tourism Rebounds Despite No Russian Tourists

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Phuket is Thailand’s biggest island and it’s highly dependent on tourism dollars. Before the pandemic, Phuket’s economy was dominated by travel, which provided more than 300,000 jobs.

There are more than 30 beaches on the island, and it has an international airport, so it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand with over 30 different beaches.

While it’s only about 13 miles wide at its widest point, the island boasts a variety of different areas such as a historic old town and a party town similar to the Jersey shore, and an upscale beach area with boutiques, resorts, and villas.

Russians make up a significant portion of tourists on the island. That is until the pandemic temporarily halted international travel.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand reports that Russia accounted for 17% of international arrivals in January, more than any other country. A total of 24,000 of the 133,000 international tourists visiting Phuket were from Russia. In second place was Germany, with approximately 12,000 arrivals.)

Read: Top Things To Do In Phuket, Thailand This Summer Vacation

As in the previous month, Russian arrivals continued to dominate the arrivals market in February, although at a lower level, with close to 18,000 arrivals.

Then Russia invaded Ukraine. Many countries closed their airspace to Russia, airlines halted flights to Russia, and Russian banks were disconnected from the global banking system.

Though Phuket’s tourism industry has been negatively affected by the war in Ukraine, it is also experiencing an unrelated boost thanks to Thailand’s decision to further relax border restrictions. The Phuket tourism scene seems to be gaining traction slowly after almost two years without tourists.
Thailand’s loosening of travel restrictions provided a welcome respite from months of hardly any business. Additionally, they arrived at the perfect time to counteract a reduction in Russian arrivals.

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