The first plane with tourists from Uzbekistan arrived at the Thai resort island of Phuket on the morning of November 3. Flight HH2203 of the Uzbek airline Qanot Sharq Airlines landed at Phuket International Airport. On October 30, flights began between Kazakhstan and Thailand. Thus, the kingdom “got” two long-awaited and solvent tourist markets at once.
There were 238 passengers on board the Uzbek flight who were given HKT We Care waterproof bags at the airport, The Thaiger reported. Last month, Thai tourism officials announced they were working to get more tourists from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan when they noticed that Kazakh and Uzbek tourists were starting to show an unprecedented interest in Thai resorts. Recall that on October 1, the authorities of the kingdom extended the period of visa-free entry.
“According to the government decision adopted on August 19, the period from the current 30 days is increased to 45 in the period from October 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023,” the Minister of Tourism quoted Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn message at a press conference. These rules have changed not only for citizens of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, but also for Russians. So, instead of 15 days, they will be allowed to stay in the country for 30.
The largest airline in Kazakhstan, Air Austana, began operating daily direct flights from Almaty, Kazakhstan, to Bangkok and Phuket from 30 October. Sunday Airlines, a charter subsidiary of major Kazakh air carrier SCAT, plans to add new flights this winter to Phuket and Utapao in Pattaya from several cities in Kazakhstan. These cities include Almaty, Astana, Kostanay, Shymkent and Uralsk.
For example, on November 1, according to the message of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in the Thai province, published in the official telegram channel, the following countries were in the top 10 in terms of the number of arrivals to Phuket:
- Russia – 1544
- India – 753
- Australia – 657
- Singapore – 410
- Kazakhstan – 323
During the first eight months of this year, 2,496 tourists from Uzbekistan arrived in Thailand. In general, in the context of the post-COVID reality, the Ministry of Tourism has more ambitious expectations: 8,500 people should arrive by the end of the year. Although this indicator cannot yet compete with the pre-Covid 2019: then the number of tourists from Uzbekistan in Thailand amounted to 19,000 people. Against the background of Russian traffic, Uzbek traffic seems low, but the Thai authorities are determined and made every effort to “disperse” Uzbek traffic, since the citizens of Uzbekistan, in their opinion, have high purchasing power.
Meanwhile, tourism in Thailand as a whole has reached another milestone. As of October 26, 7,349,843 foreign tourists have arrived in the kingdom, surpassing the 7 million mark. This puts the country within the target range set by the Tourism Authority of Thailand of 7 million to 10 million tourists for 2022.
The top five ports of entry included Thailand's three international airports and two land checkpoints. As expected, Suvarnabhumi Airport – Bangkok International Airport, Thailand's largest airport and one of the largest air hubs in Southeast Asia, received the most passengers: more than four times as many as the second busiest departure point, Phuket International Airport. Bangkok's secondary airport, Don Muang International Airport, received a little more than half of the tourists than in Phuket.
Earlier, Turprom wrote that “Thailand announced an increase in the number of Russians on three islands at once, and this is not Phuket.”
For those who care about a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “The doctor revealed 14 easy ways to prevent flu and Covid.”