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Thailand Losing Russian Tourists


Thailand Losing Russian Tourists

In this year’s October, the number of tourists from Russia to Thailand dropped by almost 25%, ATOR Analytical Service reports. Tour operators say that Thailand is still the most popular winter destination in the Russian market, but the winter season is likely to end with a minus sign - because of declining consumer activity, transportation has to be reduced.

In October 2014, Thailand was visited by over 115 thousand. Russian citizens, almost a quarter less than in October 2013. At the end of this month, Russia retained third place rating in the Thai inbound market with a share of 5.3%, but this figure was reduced by more than 2%. Inbound flows from Russia to Bangkok for the same period fell by almost a third compared with last year’s October. In October 2013, Russia was still the third largest supplier of tourists through the Bangkok airport Suvarnapumi. This year, our market ranks only fifth.

The tour operators interviewed by ATOR Herald explained that the drop in the tourist flow to Thailand is not so much due to a decrease in the interest in the country as to the general market trends. "Thailand this winter is one of the most problematic destinations. In October - November tours to the country were literally "burning", prices reached 300-400 dollars with twice as high transportation costs," says Vladimir Kaganer, CEO of the company TEZ TOUR.

Most tour operators reduced their volumes on Thailand. TEZ TOUR reported a twofold decrease,TUI opted out of this and several other long-haul destinations for the season. Despite the fact that not all tour operators opted for a decline, market participants agree that by the end of the season Thailand will have been visited by fewer Russian tourists than last year. Tour operators don’t name concrete figures – the optimization process is in progress.

Meanwhile, the beginning of the year was quite successful for Thailand which inevitably reflected in the overall statistics of the Russian market on Thailand on the basis of past months. According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, during the first ten months of 2014, Thailand was visited by nearly 1.3 million Russians, that practically corresponds to the results of the Russian market in the same period last year. Due to the record high showings in January, February and March 2014, when Thailand was monthly visited by more than 200 thousand Russian tourists, Russia retained the third place in the Thai inbound market. The Russians lost only to the Chinese and Malaysian markets.

But the flow through Bangkok continues to show a negative trend. This is largely due to the recommendation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation to refrain from visiting the capital for tourism purposes. The airport itself didn’t fall under the negative recommendation, but many tourists reoriented to direct flights to Thai resorts. According to the statistics of Bangkok International Airport Suvarnapumi, the incoming flow of Russians during the first ten months of 2014 amounted to 663 thousand people, which is 17% less than in 2013.

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