Phuket-Krabi hotels take no credit cards from Russian tourists

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Hotel operators in Phuket and Krabi Province do not accept credit cards from Russian tourists due to Russian sanctions caused by the Russia-Ukraine war crisis as the Russian financial institutions are cut off from the central payment system.

Thai tourism is stumped by Russian sanctions behind the Russian financial institutions cut off from the global central payment system. Therefore, hotel business operators in Krabi and Phuket canceled 15% of rooms and temporarily declined to accept credit cards to reduce the risk.

Russo-Ukraine War Crisis started to affect the tourism business in Thailand on March 5, 2022. According to a representative of a large hotel operator in Phuket, it was revealed that the problem affects the rate of new bookings, and some tourists have canceled the trip, which greatly affects the business because Russian tourists travel to Phuket during March and usually stay overnight for a long period of 7-21 days.

Ready to admit Russian tourists is now Phuket; however, the tourists can’t use credit cards because most Russian financial institutions are denied from the central payment system of the banks around the world. Hotels have tried to coordinate with the Bank of Thailand to get clarity if they can accept payments from any Russian financial institutions, including clear guidelines if the situation is prolonged.

Mr. Arthit Supromphithak, Phi Phi Resort staff, Krabi province, has set the conditions for booking and immediate payment afterward, instead of using a credit payment system to reduce the risk of unpaid incidents. This is in line with Mr. Atthawit Supaka, senior sales officer of Melia Hotel, Phuket, who said his hotel rooms had been canceled, not less than 15 percent, and he is feeling worried about the sanctions that may affect international financial transactions more severely; thereby, giving an offer to Russian tourists to be able to postpone the itinerary after assessing that the situation may continue. He is ready to ask the government to facilitate tourism for convenient financial transactions.

Russian tourists entering Thailand have decreased from 600-700 to 378 people per day according to the statistics that record Russian tourists who have entered the country through the Test-and-Go system since March 1, 2022. Russian visitors are considered the majority of the foreign tourists traveling to Thailand during the pandemic of COVID-19.

With the accumulative total from November 2021 to February 28, 2022, there had been more than 63,000 people, accounting for spending at least 4,100 million baht.

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