Indians and Australians have been among the top tourists to Phuket in recent months (120,000 from May to September) (around 60,000 visitors between May – September). Year after year, travelers are drawn to Phuket by the spectacle of “Masongs” (human receptacles for Taoist gods) cutting their cheeks with pointed objects and by the mouthwatering cuisine. The Taoist celebration, which blends vegan food and self-mortification, will take place from September 25 to October 4. Russian tourists, who in the years before the pandemic grew to be the island’s second-largest international source market, continue to be a source of lost revenue for Phuket. The tourism sector in Phuket is on the upswing as Thailand’s High Season approaches.


According to Deputy Governor Pichet Panapong, Phuket has received four million domestic and foreign visitors so far in 2022, generating 66 billion baht for the local economy. International arrivals in Phuket are still just 40% of pre-pandemic levels, even though 3000–5000 tourists arrive on the island every day. As of October 1, Thailand will officially allow visitors to stay for longer periods by increasing visa-on-arrival validity from 15 to 30 days and visa exemptions from 30 to 45 days. The governor reports that domestic tourism to Phuket is at an amazing 85% of pre-pandemic levels. The festivities will begin with the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. During High Season, the government also intends to fly Russians into Thailand on chartered planes three times every week. The post-pandemic recovery of Phuket’s tourism business could benefit greatly from the improved connectivity between Thailand and Russia. The new developments will undoubtedly draw people to Thailand, particularly Phuket, which continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. On October 30, 2022, Aeroflot intends to resume direct flights between Russia and Phuket.

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