3,200 Russian tourists stuck in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao area due to Russia/Ukraine conflict and sanctions

Surat Thani –

An Honorary Consul from the Russian Consulate in Surat Thani met with the Koh Samui district chief officer this morning, March 9th, to discuss solutions to assist Russian tourists who were affected by the Russia-Ukraine war, caused by Russia invading Ukraine.

Honorary Consul Ashwani Bajaj and Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association president Ratchaporn Phoonsawas arrived at the Koh Samui District Office at around 10:00 AM. to meet District Chief Officer Chayapol Inthasupha to discuss ways to provide assistance for 3,200 Russian tourists who were traveling in ​​Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao.

They were currently unable to return home due to airspace closures, airlines shutting temporarily due to sanctions, and to make payments via most credit cards and international transfers due to a ban of selected major Russian national banks. Some had been able to work with Unionpay, a Chinese company, to gain access to funds, but many were still struggling.

Initially, the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association had coordinated with the Immigration Office to extend the staying period for Russian and Ukrainian tourists.

The Russian Consulate would also set up a Russian-tourist assistance center to receive complaints from Russian tourists via the Telegram application where officials would collect such information before forwarding them to the Russian Embassy in Thailand to seek solutions.

Thousands of Russians and Ukrainian tourists are essentially stranded throughout Thailand due to the ongoing conflict, with most in the Surat Thani, Phuket, and Pattaya areas. Officials continue to work with the Russian Embassy, Thai Immigration, and relevant tourism associations to find solutions to assist those in need.

Photo Courtesy: Naewna

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National News Writer at The Pattaya News. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.