Russian tourists return to Thailand's Pattaya thanks to direct Azur Air flights

Image from The Nation Thailand/ANN

BANGKOK, Nov 27 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Russian tourists are returning to Pattaya in droves now that Azur Air has started providing direct flights to the popular resort city.

The airline's first chartered flight brought 230 passengers from Novosibirsk, a city in southern Russia’s Siberia region, to the U-Tapao Pattaya Airport on Saturday.

Upon arrival, the passengers were warmly welcomed with orchids and souvenirs by representatives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Pattaya’s tourism businesses. They were also treated to a performance by a troupe of Thai classical dancers.

Azur Air will provide direct flights from Novosibirsk to Pattaya until March next year.

Anoma Wongyai, director of TAT’s Pattaya office, said on Saturday that Azur Air flights would help restore Russian tourists’ confidence in Pattaya’s preparedness. She added that the resort city was placed at the forefront of the TAT roadshows held around Russia.

Azur Air flies from 11 Russian cities, including Moscow, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Tyumen, Vladivostok, Omsk, Kemerovo, St Petersburg, and Irkutsk. The airline uses the 238-seat Boeing 757 and the 336-seat Boeing 767.

In the first nine months of this year, Pattaya welcomed more than 9.11 million tourists, though 8.74 million were Thai residents and only 375,653 foreigners. More than 55 billion baht in revenue was generated during the period.

Pattaya has remained the most popular Thai destination among Russian tourists. Before Covid-19 struck Thailand in 2020, the eastern seaboard resort city attracted more than 1 million Russian visitors every year.

Thanet Suparashasrangsi, acting president of the Chonburi Tourism Council, said on Saturday that the Russian market has seen constant growth and played an important role in Pattaya’s tourism.

For him, the start of Azur Air flights to Pattaya was a “good sign” for tourism businesses that focus on the Russian market. - The Nation Thailand/ANN

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