Russians, Ukrainians get helpline

Russians, Ukrainians get helpline

War in Europe affects tourists

Phuket: A call centre has been set up to provide assistance to Russian and Ukrainian tourists affected by the conflict between the two nations.

The move follows flight cancellations by two Russian airlines -- S7 Airlines and Aeroflot -- and transaction woes faced by Russian tourists who are unable to use their credit cards.

Around 3,500-4,000 Russian tourists and 300-400 travellers from Ukraine are currently in Phuket.

The help centre is a joint effort by the local office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, provincial authorities, tourism police, immigration police and the provincial tourism business association.

Visitors from both countries are urged to contact 093-9372086 or 094-8191124 from 8.30am to 7pm for assistance with problems they might be facing.

Bhummikitti Raktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said yesterday the number of arrivals from Russia is expected to drop by 25%-30% following flight cancellations.

"The number will drop further if more economic sanctions are imposed," he said.

Rising fuel prices will push up air travel costs, which may result in some tourists from other Western countries delaying their travel, Mr Bhummikitti said. This will add more woes to the tourism sector.

Mr Bhummikitti said the association is looking for a new market to compensate for the decrease of Russian tourists and is pinning its hopes on the Indian market with a first Thai flight from Mumbai scheduled to arrive on March 19.

The cabinet recently approved an air travel bubble with India which is expected to commence later this month, after commercial flights between the two countries were suspended due to an upsurge of Covid-19 infections in India in late March 2020.

Under the agreement, only Thai, Indian, Nepali and Bhutanese nationals and other nationalities originating from either Thailand or India who hold a valid visa to enter either country will be eligible to fly.

Mr Bhummikitti said Phuket is also switching its focus to the Australian market after the country relaxed travel rules, and the Middle East especially Saudi Arabia after the normalisation of bilateral ties.

Japan is also a potential market and its economy is slowly recovering, Mr Bhummikitti added.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

Nigerians arrested in Phuket for visa overstay

PHUKET: Four Nigerian men have been arrested for overstaying their visas in Muang district of this resort island province.

12:21

Khon Kaen Airport expects 5m passengers per year

Khon Kaen Airport is expected to handle 5 million passengers a year, starting next month, after its expansion is completed, deputy government spokeswoman Tipanan Sirichana said on Friday.

10:17

Duo team up for EV sharing scheme

EV Primus Co, a distributor of multiple brands of electric vehicles (EVs), has diversified its EV business by teaming up with Haupcar Co to offer an EV sharing service through a digital platform, aiming to serve the travel lifestyles of urban dwellers.

09:04