The governor of the Thai province of Surat Thani, Witchawut Jinto, and a team of officials last week welcomed the first 432 Russian tourists visiting the province, the Pattaya Mail reports.
The Russian visitors booked the inaugural flight of Nordwind Airlines from Novosibirsk in Russia the Southeast Asian country. The officials welcomed them with a water presentation and a cultural performance, local media said. The Russian tourists say they plan to take a vacation on Samui Island for 11 to 12 days, and more tourists from Russia are expected to arrive in the next days.
Witchawut said Surat Thani is one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Thailand. The coastal province is a gateway to many famous islands, such as Samui, Phangan and Tao. Surat Thani is also a transportation hub for the upper southern region, as it offers all modes of transport on land, by air, sea and rail, connecting the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.
This month, the province welcomes flights from Chengdu in China and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Between December 27 and April 22, Surat Thani is to welcome 32 flights from Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk, both in Russia. About 12,760 tourists are expected to visit Surat Thani during this period, generating revenue of around 500 million baht ($16.6 million)
Authorities in Surat Thani say they are ready to ensure the safety of tourists, so they can enjoy the beautiful beaches, popular attractions, delicious seafood and the generosity of the local people.
Supranee Pongpat, the TAT Executive Director of Europe, Africa and Middle East, said the province is ready to accommodate the increasing number of tourists from Russia. The TAT Office in Moscow has collaborated with major Russian tour operator Pegas Touristik, to promote a tourism package of 11 days and 12 nights in Surat Thani’s Samui, Phangan and Tao islands from the winter season to April next year.