Cheap accommodation on Samui Island has been arranged for the many Russian and Ukrainian tourists stranded in Thailand due to the war in Ukraine.
Up to 30 rooms in a hotel on Chaweng Beach have been made available by Suratthani Rajabhat University’s International School of Tourism, to accommodate tourists stranded on about 4,000 baht per month, to ease their hardship while they wait for flights back to their countries.
Many hotels on Samui Island are currently empty or barely occupied due to the COVID-19 pandemic and strict control measures, which have reduced foreign tourist arrivals, despite it being the peak tourist season in the country. country.
Before the war in Ukraine, no less than 700 Russian tourists arrived in Thailand every day. The figure started to drop on March 1 when 378 tourists from Russia were registered. Popular destinations among the group are Samui, Phuket, Krabi and Pattaya.
The problems of stranded Russian tourists are seriously compounded by their inability to use their Visa and MasterCard credit cards, due to the SWIFT interbank messaging system sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
The Samui district chief also called a meeting with officials from the local Red Cross unit, asking for a campaign to be launched to provide material support to those stranded.
According to the Samui district office, there are around 3,000 Russian tourists stranded on the islands of Samui, Pha-ngan and Tao.