Thai officials and representatives of tourism-related businesses have tried to help thousands of Russian tourists stranded in tourist towns such as Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya due to international sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Thailand. ‘Ukraine.
Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Yuthasak Supasorn, said yesterday (Monday) that the agency was trying to coordinate with airlines to arrange flights to Russia for tourists wishing to return home and low-cost accommodation for stranded tourists.
He also said that the TAT had discussed arrangements to use Union Pay as an alternative system, as Russian credit cards Visa, Mastercard and American Express were suspended, or cryptocurrencies for payment of services.
It is believed that as many as 8,000 Russian tourists are stranded in Thailand.
According to the Koh Samui Tourism Association, there are now over 2,000 Russian tourists, who vacationed on the islands of Samui, Tao and Pha Ngan before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and many more them cannot return home due to lack of flights.
To help, association president Ratchaporn Poonsawat said the association has appealed to all member hotels to try to take care of tourists by providing low-cost accommodation to ease their financial burden.
He said some businesses on Koh Samui use the Union Pay service, which caters more generally to Chinese tourists, while he urged hoteliers who encounter problems with payments from Russian tourists to contact the association or the TAT office in Koh Samui.
He urged businesses on Koh Samui to make stranded Russian tourists feel like the island is their second home and help them as best they can, so that they return when things return to normal.