Russian tourists have been Phuket’s largest group of November visitors thus far. In November’s first 10 days, 18,370 Russians visited Phuket. Moscow-Phuket flights resumed this month. Aeroflot will boost direct Phuket flights. Less than two weeks ago, Russian airlines returned to the island. Russia’s flagship airline announced on November 12 that it would add 14 weekly flights to Phuket. Phuket and Pattaya are flooded with Russian tourists. The article quotes Thanet Suparashasrangsi, chairman of the Chonburi Council of Tourism Industry, as saying, “Azur Airline will begin bringing in charter flights on B757 carriers on November 26. This will significantly increase the number of tourists in Pattaya.” Ikar Carrier, another Russian airline, also observes a rise in Russian travelers. The country is on track to meet the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s 7 to 10 million visitor target for 2022. Koh Samui expects more Russian tourists in December. Koh Samui relied heavily on Russian vacationers before Covid-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The return of Russian tourists to Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao is expected to boost tourism. Russians and other Europeans with chilly winters aspire to move to Thailand for its balmy climate. As on October 26, Thailand had 7 million overseas visitors. Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, the vice-governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), expects one million Russian tourists in Thailand next year. TAT predicted this. Siripakorn said Russian carriers began charter flights to Thailand. Chairman Thanet says Russian charter flights to U-Tapao will boost Pattaya’s tourism business. He projected the city’s hotel occupancy rate will rise from 40 to 50% to 60%.

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