Thailand is expecting a surge in tourism from Russia during the final two months of the year as the government will grant a longer visa-free stay for Russian citizens throughout this upcoming high-season.
Effective from November 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024, Russians will be able to stay in the country for 90 days instead of just 30.
According to KResearch, the research center of Kasikorn bank in Thailand, the country is likely to welcome around 468,000 Russian visitors between November and December, bringing the total number for the year to approximately 1.59 million – an increase of more than 7 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Aside from the extended visa-free stay, other factors are contributing to the expected rise in Russian tourist arrivals, the research revealed. More Russian tour operators are marketing packages to Thailand during winter, and chartered flights from 13 cities in Russia have already flown to Phuket and U-Tapao. Thailand is one of the top budget travel destinations, with holiday packages from Russia being approximately 40 percent cheaper than those to Malaysia and Vietnam.
Kasikorn’s study also predicted that the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict may cause some Russian nationals to change their travel plans from countries in the Middle East to other destinations in Asia
However, despite the potential impact of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East on the number of Israeli tourists in Thailand, KResearch stands by its previous forecast that the country will welcome approximately a total of 27.6 million international tourist arrivals by the end of 2023.