TAT: Tourist arrivals hit by Russia-Ukraine crisis

Beach chairs are placed on an empty beach in Phuket. (File photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

The Russia-Ukraine crisis will have an adverse impact on foreign tourist arrivals, says a Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) official.

Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT deputy governor for marketing communications, said on Thursday that the Russia-Ukraine dispute will certainly have an immediate effect on the tourism sector.

Following the launch of the government’s “Test & Go” programme for fully vaccinated travellers in November last year, the number of foreign tourist arrivals was around 100,000, about 10% of whom were from Russia, he said.

Mr Siripakorn said many Russian tourists were high-quality tourists, with high spending power, and most travelled with their families. Ukraine also had high-quality tourists, but the number of arrivals is less than Russia, he added.

In the wake of escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, travellers may decide to cancel their trip to Thailand because many airlines had to divert or cancel their flights, according to the TAT official.

“It’s too soon to assess the impact of the situation because the situation is beyond our control.

“The TAT can only closely monitor the situation and maintain consistent communication with the private sector in the country and abroad,” Mr Siripakorn said.

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