Thailand's second largest and most popular tourist island after Phuket, Koh Samui, is expecting a “surge of Russian tourism”. Local experts are very optimistic about the growth in the number of flights from Russia to Thailand, some even expect a return to the “pre-Covid” level – and mainly at the expense of the Russians.
We are talking primarily about direct flights of Aeroflot, which should return to Thailand at the end of November. “Thai Tourism Authority office in Moscow and the Russian embassy have confirmed three flights a day from Russia to Bangkok and Phuket,” local media said. As a result of the return of Russian tourists, local experts predict a “significant increase” in tourism on Koh Samui and the nearby islands, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
At the same time, the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association has already voiced a bold forecast that in the last month of the year there will be the same number of tourists on the island as before Covid-19. The forecast is based on data from travel agencies: both foreign and local travel agencies note a significant increase in international bookings until the end of the year. Optimism is growing, despite the fact that all tourists, including Russians, are booking tours, if not at the “last minute”, then definitely significantly at shorter intervals than in previous years.
“It is expected that new flights from Russia, as well as from many neighboring countries to Russia, which plan to serve flights to Thailand, will give an additional impetus to the tourism market until the end of 2022,” local media assures.
Our note: Koh Samui is the second after Phuket, the island of Thailand, both in terms of area (228.7 km²) and in demand among tourists. The island is located about 700 km from Bangkok and 40 km from the mainland coast, connected to the capital by a large number of flights, and can also be reached by ferry. The tourism industry for the island, which has been booming since 1990, is the main “industry”, in second place is the collection of coconuts.
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