How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Anything and everything about Thailand
User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Post by Gaybutton »

I've seen a little of the "fallout" right in my own neighborhood. Just up the street from my house, less than 200m, is a nice hotel. It was built to accommodate mainly Chinese and Russian tour buses. It was kept open for individuals looking for a place to stay and they were getting some customers.

Apparently not enough. Before Covid I was used to seeing 4 to 6 full tour buses parked there nearly every night. Now No Chinese tour buses. No Russian tour buses. Only an occasional individual.

Now the hotel has completely closed. Even their security guard has vanished. Apparently they will not reopen until they are likely to have enough customers to make reopening worthwhile. Your guess is as good as mine as to how long that will be. And the collateral damage from that is the entire hotel staff is now out of work.

My own guess is unless Songkran is expected to be a total dud, they will reopen for Songkran. We'll see.

User avatar
Undaunted
Posts: 2375
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:47 am
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 324 times

Re: How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Post by Undaunted »

"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Post by Gaybutton »

I wish I understood how this works. The exchange rate has actually improved in our favor over the past few days. I have no idea if that has anything to do with the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but there it is.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Post by Gaybutton »

Thailand offers aid to stranded tourists

by Narumon Kasemsuk

March 8, 2022

More than 7,000 tourists from Russia and Ukraine in Thailand are allowed to extend their visas without an application fee as the government is considering measures to offer humanitarian assistance to those affected by international flight cancellations.

Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration asked related authorities to explore the impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and propose to the cabinet meeting on Tuesday solutions to help tourists stranded in Thailand.

He said there are roughly 7,000 tourists from the two countries in four tourism areas, comprising Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya and Krabi.

To mitigate the short-term impact, tourists can extend their 30-day visa without paying the application fee, which costs 1,900 baht for both Ukrainians and Russians.

For tourists who are unable return home, whether due to suspended flights or political unrest, and cannot afford to stay in Thailand, the government plans to offer them shelter.

The possible locations are Phuket and Pattaya, depending on a survey tourism operators were sending out to their guests this week.

Regarding transactions via Russian banks and credit cards that are blocked, tourism operators are working with UnionPay, a payment platform from China, to offer this channel to Russian visitors.

Tourism associations also suggest the government consider the emergency use of cryptocurrencies to let tourists have an alternative payment system in this situation and for similar crises in the future.

Mr Yuthasak said another concern is tourists' health insurance, with some private hospitals reluctant to offer medical services for Covid-19 patients from Russia because of financial sanctions and interrupted payment methods.

The government has to seek solutions to ensure that patients will receive proper treatment if needed, he said.

For those who want to return, the Russian government may arrange repatriation flights for their citizens, however Thailand will not deport any tourists back home without their consent.

Bhummikitti Raktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said flight cancellations by two Russian airlines -- S7 Airlines and Aeroflot -- definitely affected the Russian market as their direct routes covered a large part of Russia, sharing around 70% of this market with Phuket.

At present, there are 3,500-4,000 Russian tourists and 300-400 travellers from Ukraine remaining in Phuket, said Mr Bhummikitti.

From March 1-6, Russia was the top market for Andaman resorts with a total of 3,500 visitors. The average length of stay was around 10 days per trip.

During the next two weeks, tourism operators, state authorities and the Russian consulate have to work together to facilitate tourists who remain in the country, he said.

The tourist shelter in Phuket might see demand from Ukrainians who want to seek temporary asylum if they cannot return to their country, said Mr Bhummikitti.

He said even though 30% of the Russian market flies via the Middle East, most of this market may have to cancel their trips because of surging costs from the higher exchange rate and sanctions.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/22 ... d-tourists

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Number of Russian visitors in Phuket instantly drops, Phuket struggles to find solutions for hundreds of stranded Russian tourists with no access to funds due to sanctions

By Goong Nang(GN)

7 March, 2022

The number of Russian visitors in Phuket has instantly dropped due to two Russian airlines responsible for a majority of flights to the island stopping their services temporarily due to sanctions imposed by western countries on Russia due to the ongoing Russian invasion into Ukraine.

The President of the Phuket Tourism Association Mr. Bhummikitti Ruktaengam posted on his Facebook, “Two airlines from Russia have paused their services to other areas including Phuket which are S7 – Siberian Airlines and Aeroflot Airlines.”

“The reason that they have paused is because of European and American sanctions which caused airplane rental contracts to be paused too. Some ticket booking system companies have stopped their services. Airspace has been restricted and limited in conflict areas of Ukraine and Russia. So these make ticket bookings more difficult if not outright impossible for citizens of both countries, although there are still some routes in through the UAE.” Bhummikitti stated.

“The number of Russian visitors in Phuket used to be very high and since reopening Thailand to foreign tourists last year with Thailand Pass, Russians have been number one in terms of overall visitors. Most of them used direct flights from Russia and not flights through Dubai or some other Middle Eastern countries which, for now, are still operating although could also be forced to pause soon due to sanction-related issues. As a result, the numbers of Russian visitors have instantly dropped.” Bhummikitti added.

“In addition, due to the sanctions and multiple companies stopping their services for now, including Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, American Express, Wise, Remitly, and bank-related sanctions with SWIFT it has become almost impossible for Russians to access their banks and funds in Russia, leaving a significant number of them stranded without the ability to pay for flights home to Russia or even for hotels or food. There are still some tourists who have managed to access funds through cryptocurrency or small banks not targeted by SWIFT but loopholes and grey areas continue to be closed by Western countries putting pressure on Russia to end the conflict,” Bhummikitti explained.

Bhummikitti did not state exactly how many Russians were “stranded” in Phuket as a result of the sanctions, TPN media notes, but both Samui and Pattaya have reported similar issues with Samui stating hundreds of Russians and Ukrainians, who could not get flights home due to restricted airspace, were facing problems both in getting flights and for Russians financially due to sanctions.

Bhummikitti said that the tourism association and Phuket leaders were working closely with both Russians and Ukrainians on the island who were facing travel and finance problems, as well as working out deals with hotels and Immigration to allow those who could not leave or could not temporarily pay to stay longer. Bhummikitti also stated that the consulates of both countries were working with their citizens to provide solutions and support for those in need.

https://tpnnational.com/2022/03/07/numb ... sanctions/
___________________________________________________________________

Thailand will not deport Russian or Ukrainian tourists

By Barry Kenyon

March 8, 2022

The dire situation of 7,000 Ukrainian and – to a lesser extent Russian – visitors trapped in Thailand is being formally discussed by the Bangkok authorities. Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn confirmed that tourists from both countries would not be formally expelled against their will, even if their visas had expired.

Mr Yuthasak said that both nationalities would be able to extend their visas for a further month without payment of the 1,900 fee. However, officials at the immigration bureau were still awaiting confirmation as the matter needed to be cleared by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration later today (March 8). In Pattaya, two Russian tourists said they had been given 60 day Covid-related extensions. This formal discretion for all nationalities ends later this month.

However, some better-off expats have long-stay visas, such as the Elite or annual extensions of stay based on marriage or retirement, and are not under immediate pressure. Some maintain healthy Thai bank accounts and are assisting their hard-up compatriots during the emergency. One Ukrainian national is borrowing money via a short-term loan, based on his ownership of a condominium unit in Jomtien.

With Visa and Mastercard blocked for credit cards issued in Russia and badly dislocated for Ukrainian nationals, tourism operators are working with UnionPay, an alternative payment platforms based in China. UnionPay actually handles higher cash-value transactions than Visa or Mastercard, although 99 percent are based in China. Russia’s Mir financial network is known to be affiliated with the Shanghai-based financial giant.

Meanwhile, the number of Russian or Ukrainian nationals landing in Thailand has slumped for obvious reasons. The Pattaya office of TAT said the city was offering temporary asylum for Ukrainian nationals already here and that the Thai government was promising to pick up the tab for the time being. However, Pattaya Mail spoke to a group of Ukrainian nationals who stressed they were leaving for Bangkok in order to be geographically near to their embassy. One said his passport had run out and he needed an official letter to confirm its extension. “The safest place in this tragedy is our embassy,” he said.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... sts-391567

User avatar
Undaunted
Posts: 2375
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:47 am
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 324 times

Re: How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Post by Undaunted »

Gaybutton wrote:
Tue Mar 08, 2022 1:24 pm
I wish I understood how this works. The exchange rate has actually improved in our favor over the past few days. I have no idea if that has anything to do with the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but there it is.
Now the rate is 33.15………It has nothing to do with the baht it is simply in times of uncertainty there is a flight to the U.S. dollar and gold.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Post by Gaybutton »

In Thailand, businesses feel economic shock of Ukraine war

Countries across Asia are bracing for rising inflation and supply chain disruptions amid sanctions against Russia.

By Vijitra Duangdee

9 March, 2022

For Bangkok-based exporter Peyton Enloe, getting Thai fresh fruit and vegetables onto Russian supermarket shelves has become an almost impossible task.

Russian consumers are cutting back on luxuries as the value of the rouble plummets to record lows. Not only that, the Aeroflot planes Enloe relies on to transport his produce are running out of space as flights fill up with Russian tourists cutting their holidays short.

“My Russian customers told me people don’t have money to even buy the basics, let alone ‘exotic’ produce like mangos, durians, rambutans.”

Russia’s economy is being hammered by Western-led sanctions introduced in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

But the outlook for Asia has also taken a sharply negative turn as the economic pain spreads across the globe.

The region’s fragile post-pandemic recoveries have been thrown into doubt as oil prices approach $140 a barrel, threatening a new round of rising inflation and supply chain crunches – challenging governments that have already had to spend big during the pandemic to find more resources to shield their populations from rising costs. Analysts expect oil prices to rise further still after President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a ban on imports of Russian oil, gas, and coal.

Putin’s military campaign in Ukraine has disrupted the flow of goods between continents, with big shipping firms like Maersk and CMA CGM announcing they will no longer serve Russian ports. Asia’s biggest economies also depend on imported oil and gas – of which Russia is the world’s third and second-largest supplier, respectively – making them susceptible to rising energy prices.

“Asia will not be impacted as much as Russia or Europe,” Tommy Wu of Oxford Economics in Hong Kong told Al Jazeera. “But higher global energy prices and slower global trade will weigh on Asia’s recovery, notably for countries that rely heavily on oil imports such as Japan, South Korea and India.”

For China, which has declined to condemn or sanction Russia, any prolonged drag on global growth caused by the war is bad news, even if Beijing ramps up economic cooperation with an increasingly friendless Moscow.

“As Russia becomes increasingly isolated, it will lean more heavily on China as a trading partner,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, said in a briefing note last week.

“That will present some opportunities for Chinese firms to take market share from western suppliers and to buy energy at a discount. But any such gains will be small when set against the cost to China of higher commodity prices and the dent that those price rises have put in real consumer incomes in China’s major export markets.”

For Thailand, southeast Asia’s second-largest economy and one of the region’s hardest-hit during the pandemic, the economic aftershocks of Russia’s invasion are being largely felt in specific sectors.

While only 1 percent of Thai exports go to Russia, firms with business in the country are grappling with serious supply chain disruptions.

For Enloe, an American who has worked in Thai agricultural businesses for more than a decade, flying fresh farm produce to Russia and Europe depends on speed and reliable connections.

“Aeroflot has been banned from most European countries already,” he said. “In the long term, that will be a problem.”

Russia has also been the largest source of tourists to the kingdom as it tries to reboot its tourism sector after two years lost to the pandemic.

Since the invasion, many Russians have had to abandon holidays in the country to manage a business or other affairs at home, or because the rouble’s crash made their stay 30 percent more expensive overnight.

Those still in Russia who wish to travel face difficulties paying for their trips after Russian banks were cut off from the SWIFT international payments system.

Amid the economic fallout, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha has appealed to the public for understanding.

“We’re discussing measures to freeze the price of petrol. But we can’t just help everyone,” he told reporters on March 1. “As you know the government doesn’t really have money so you should understand us.”

Small shippers at Thailand’s Leam Chabang port are already asking for an oil surcharge of nearly four percent from freight customers, one European firm told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, with those costs likely to quickly be passed onto consumers who have been struggling with months of rising prices.

On Friday, Thailand’s Commerce Ministry announced that inflation in February rose to 5.28 percent, the highest rate in 13 years and well above forecasts.

Analysts see worse to come as the war in Ukraine casts a cloud over hopes of a swift economic recovery in 2022.

“We’re going to feel the pain deep into this year and most likely into the next,” Chaichan Chareonsuk, chairman of the Thai National Shippers Council, told Al Jazeera. “The geopolitical situation, global inflation, the pandemic – Thailand still has a high number of cases – and freight costs are still very high. All of that is certain to damage our growth.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/ ... kraine-war

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 3455
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 470 times
Been thanked: 221 times

Re: How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Post by Jun »

The global headwinds for the Thai economy are mostly uncontrollable.

Instead of whinging about what they cannot control, they ought to firstly address the headwinds that are under Thai control. Like the anti-tourism policies, corruption, badly directed infrastructure spending and so on.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Post by Gaybutton »

Ukraine war squashes more than Russian tourism in Thailand

By Barry Kenyon

March 10, 2022

The nasty consequences of the Ukrainian war are threatening several sectors of the Thai economy. International tourism as a whole is threatened by the Russian invasion which is dissuading many travellers from traditional markets, notably Europe. The Manchester-based consortium Exotica said, “Thailand is not a pull right now. Air fares are bound to rise and people don’t like to be on the other wide of the world when there’s real trouble in Europe.”

Then there’s the pandemic. American authorities are strongly advocating their nationals avoid Thailand right now because of the high infection rates, even though most Omicron cases here are domestic-borne and minor in symptoms. The Washington-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention added Thailand to its red-list this week, although the majority of the world’s countries – 136 at the last count – are also included.

Although Thailand has not sanctioned Russia and direct trade between the two countries is low (about one percent of Thailand’s imports and exports combined), Russian consumers are cutting back on luxuries such as Thai fresh fruit and frozen seafood. Air transport between Thailand and Russia has almost ceased with regular flights regularly cancelled. With the international oil price hovering around US$140 and diesel about to burst the 30 baht per liter barrier, inflation and supply chain crunches are inevitable.

Peyton Enloe, a Bangkok-based exporter, said, “Flying fresh farm produce to both Russia and Europe depends on speed and reliable connections. Aeroflot has been banned from most European countries already.” He added that the rising cost of fuel was already creating difficulties as prices to wholesalers and retailers rose.

Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce has announced that inflation has now reached 5.28 percent which is a 13 years high and well above forecasts. Chaichan Chareonsuk, chair of the National Shippers Council, told Al Jazeera, “The geopolitical situation, global inflation, freight costs and the pandemic are all very worrying.” 2022 is not looking good for Thailand.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... and-391753

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Post by Gaybutton »

Thai and Russian Authorities Assisting Tourists Affected by Russia-Ukraine Crisis

by Webfact

March 17, 2022

The Russian embassy in Bangkok has said it is working closely with Thai tourism authorities to help accommodate the thousands of Russian tourists who have been stranded in Thailand due to airspace restrictions imposed amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

During a press conference on Tuesday (15 Mar), Russian Ambassador to Thailand Evgeny Tomikhin said the majority of stranded Russian nationals are concentrated in tourist destinations such as Phuket, Pattaya, Chon Buri, Koh Samui, Surat Thani. He added that the embassy is attempting to secure extended visas, find lodging and arrange repatriation flights on various airlines for those stranded.

Due to international airspace restrictions, many airlines - including Russia’s flagship Aeroflot - have canceled services, affecting as many as 6,500 Russian tourists in the Kingdom.

Thailand is one of 140 nations that voted in favor of a United Nations resolution demanding Russia’s immediate withdrawal from Ukraine and criticizing Russia’s "aggression against Ukraine."

Tomikhin stated Russia understood Thailand’s decision and that the two countries’ diplomatic ties would not be affected. He also made clear that Russia was not fighting an all-out war and that its forces were only targeting military infrastructure in Ukraine while attempting to avoid civilian casualties.

https://aseannow.com/topic/1253724-thai ... ne-crisis/

RichLB
Posts: 1196
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:13 pm
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 82 times

Re: How the Russia-Ukraine conflict affects Thailand

Post by RichLB »

Given the board's position that it would not allow itself to become involved in the war, you might want to question the last sentence in your previous post. I'm not sure that repeating Russian propaganda and not allowing a rebuttal is the most even handed decision.

Post Reply