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Number of Russian visitors in Pattaya drops

The number of Russian visitors and long-term residents arriving in Pattaya has drastically decreased since a prior stampede of these people. Approximately 6,000 Russians arrived in Pattaya in February, March, and April, most often via the nearby U-tapao airport near Rayong.

However, there are no longer any direct flights to the regional airhub from Moscow or other regional towns like Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg, dealing a fatal blow to the once-thriving tourism industry in and around Siberia.

There are currently at least 80% less Russian travelers to Pattaya. While there are still once-daily flights from Moscow to Bangkok, the majority of Russians now transit through Dubai, which flies daily to U-tapao, before arriving in Pattaya.

In addition, it’s thought that several Russians are stuck in Thailand and unable to leave. Due to international sanctions, the longstayers, some of them are draft dodgers, and their families are having issues using credit cards and Swift payments.

The Bank of Thailand has come under pressure to endorse the popular in Russia Mir online payment system and promote the use of cryptocurrencies. For instance, many companies are now processing bitcoin transactions for a 3-5 percent premium in the adjacent country of Cambodia.

The Thai immigration department is also being urged to permit Russian citizens to increase the number of visits they are permitted to make to a land border each year from the standard two. While residing in Thailand, wealthy Russian émigrés are seeking for longstay visas, particularly the 5-20 years Elite choices.

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