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Thailand Government Offers Help To Stranded Ukrainian and Russian Tourists

Published: March 8, 2022 at 5:22 pm

Similan island beach with tourists

Thailand government said that Russian and Ukrainian tourists hit by flight cancellations can get visa extensions for free. This is one of the measures Thai authorities are taking to assist tourists who have been stranded due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Other possible options include providing shelter and access to a Chinese payment platform, UnionPay.  There are over 7,000 Ukrainian and Russian tourists are currently stranded in Thailand.

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor Tourism Authority of Thailand, said that most of the tourists from Russia and Ukraine are in Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, and Pattaya. Those who want an extension of their stay are not required to pay extra 1,900 baht.   He added that Russians who choose to return home can be repatriated by the Russian government but will not be deported by Thailand.

Those who are unable to return home as a result of canceled flights because of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine will be offered shelter by the Thai government.  Phuket and Pattaya are being considered for this.

Tourism operators are now collaborating with China’s UnionPay payment platform to assist tourists who are unable to use cards issued by Russian banks due to economic sanctions. Several tourism organizations have proposed that the government must allow cryptocurrency to be used by tourists who are unable to pay as an alternative.

There are reports that some private hospitals are refusing to treat Russian tourists with COVID-19 mainly due to financial penalties and the fear of not being able to pay. Yuthasak said the administration is finding measures to guarantee that these tourists will get the necessary care and treatment.

Phuket Tourist Association, Bhummikitti Raktaengam reports that Russian airlines Aeroflot and S7 Airlines have canceled flights to Phuket, affecting future arrivals. Both companies formerly offered direct flights from various locations around Russia. Bhummikitti estimates that between 3,500 and 4,000 Russian tourists are now in Phuket, along with 300–400 Ukrainians.

Source: Bangkok Post

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