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The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is urgently stimulating the Russian tourist market following a drop in Russia tourist arrivals in 2014.
Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkan Watthanawarangkun said the number of Russian tourists in 2014 was decreasing mainly due to Russia’s economic problem as well as a lack of direct flights from Russia to Thailand. 1.6 Russian tourists traveled to Thailand last year, decreasing by 8% compared to 2013, Ms Kobkan said.
The ministry is working toward a target 1-1.2 million Russian tourists in Thailand this year. Most Russian tourists visiting Thailand have purchasing power and spend more than 4,800 baht/day/person. Their average stay period is 15 days, longer than those from Europe.
The minister added that Russia was interested in setting up a Thai-Russian cultural center to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Thai-Russia relations.
The Ministry of Culture has set plans to establish a sister-city relationship with major cities in Russia in the hope to draw Russian tourists to visit smaller provinces or the 12 alternative destinations selected by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Thailand and Russia have signed bilateral agreements on tourism promotion. Tourism experts will be exchanged and Thai tourism personnel will be helped to study Russian.