RUSSIAN outbound feed to the ASEAN region grew to 562,000 last year, from 458,000 in 2009, with Thailand receiving the bulk of Russian travellers, said Valery Korovkin, head, international department of Russia’s Federal Agency For Tourism.
After a meeting between ASEAN NTOs and Russia at ATF 2011, Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports deputy permanent secretary Thanitta Maneechote said Russian arrivals to Thailand in 2010 leapt almost 100 per cent over 2009.
“Pattaya was the hot favourite for Russian tourists, but last year saw Phuket rising in popularity too. In fact, the Russian market became Phuket’s biggest source market, overtaking Scandinavia,” Thanitta said. “Seventy per cent of Russian tourists to Thailand are repeats. Many have been to Pattaya, so they are looking at other resort destinations in Thailand. And that, we have many!”
Singapore Tourism Board senior director, international group, Kevin Leong, said Russian arrivals to Singapore also saw growth, although this was “modest compared to what Thailand saw”. The city-state had 7.9 per cent more Russian tourists between January and November 2010, compared to the same period in 2009.
– Full story in TTG Asia