Russian Tourists in Thailand
The high season has arrived bringing with it a wave of tourists. Every year people from all over the world travel to Thailand with one nation in particular on the rise over the last decade. Russian tourism is booming in Thailand. Many local businesses are modifying their practices in order to accommodate the growing market geared toward the increasing number of Russians entering the country.
In several resort towns, many establishments now have Cyrillic characters of the Russian language accompanying the standard Thai and Roman alphabet of English lettering on signs and menus. Many locals are also learning basic Russian language skills in order to better communicate. Walking the streets you can now hear vendors and other sales people soliciting customers in Russian to buy their suits or eat at their restaurants.
Thailand for Russian Visitors
Whether escaping the harsh Russian climate, or just getting away for the holidays, or the great value of the Ruble in Thailand, the Russian presence in Thailand is strong. Over 659,000 tourists from Russia have entered Thailand from January through September of 2010. This is a 77 percent increase in Russian tourists from the previous year for the same time period. During the same period in 2001, less than 40,000 tourists visited Thailand from Russia, with an increase of more than 15 times in the ten years.
While the statistics report the numbers of tourists throughout Thailand, most of the Russian tourists visit Pattaya or Phuket. Both offer beach resorts, tropical getaways and a great deal of Thai culture. Phuket ranks among the top city destinations worldwide. Phuket offers all the luxuries of high-end living, set in a tropical paradise. The warm climate is a great contrast to the climate in Russia, offering a break in the long Russian winter.
Increase in Russian Companies in Thailand
With the increase in Russian tourism, there is also an increase in Russian-owned businesses that cater to the travelers. As of 2010 there were already over 400 Russian companies operating in Thailand, or about to start. In Phuket, both large and small businesses can be found being run by Russian or Russian-speaking staff. These Russian enterprises include everything from restaurants to dive shops. These businesses make communication easier and provide access for all the Russian tourists to enjoy everything that Phuket has to offer.
Tourism accounts for about 6 percent of the economy of Thailand, and the rise in Russian tourism is a growing segment. The demographic data on Russian tourism indicates that Russian tourists have money and spend it while on holiday. As of 2011, Russians spend on average $122 USD per day while visiting Thailand. This is more than any of the European nationals, the second being the UK which comes in at $108 USD per day.
Support for Russian Visitors in Thailand
To further aid the people of Russia traveling to Thailand, there is the Russian embassy in Bangkok, and two honorary consulates operating in Pattaya and Phuket.
Russian Embassy, Bangkok
78 Sap Road, Surawongse
Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500, Thailand
Tel: (66/0-2) 234-2012 Fax: (66/0-2) 268-1166
Russian Consulate, Pattaya
First Floor, Royal Cliff Grand
Royal Cliff Beach Resort
353 Phra Tamnuk Road
Pattaya, Chonburi 20150, Thailand
Tel: (66/0-3) 825-0421 (ex. 2888) Fax: (66/0-3) 825-0363
Russian Consulate, Phuket
Malisa Villa Suites
40/36 Kata Road
Kata Beach, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Tel/Fax: (66/0-7) 628-4767