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Thailand feels the heat of World Cup fever as travellers stay home

The 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow last Thursday, may have brought a tourism boon to Russia, but this major sporting event is also having a ripple effect on longhaul summer bookings into Thailand half a world away.

Several sellers in Thailand that TTG Asia spoke to at Thailand Travel Mart Plus – which took place in Pattaya last week – have observed a “slight drop” in bookings for June and July this year, corresponding to the period when Russia hosts the largest football event from June 14 to July 15.

“The Russians are not travelling during the World Cup period because they’re staying home to watch the game – this is what we understand based on feedback from Russian operators,” said Solos Faktongphol, sales executive at Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao Beach, for which Russia is a significant feeder market. ST – EP


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