Russian arrivals to Phuket grow on affordable prices, despite the weather

Until recently August has been traditionally the month marking the lowest number of Russian arrivals to Thailand – and in particular, Phuket – but with Egypt and Turkey unavailable and other destinations too expensive, Russians have started returning to the Land of Smiles attractive even in the midst of the rainy season, Russian Association of Tour Operators (ATOR) reports.

ATOR, whose members include Russian tourism powerhouses Biblio Globus, Coral Travel, Intourist, Natalie Tours, Pegas Touristik and TUI Travel, are reporting that affordable prices are now the key factor determining their clients’ travel decisions and that the industry is taking steps to meet the demand for cheaper options with extra charter flights, seasonal promotions by hotels and shorter duration of stay.

According to ATOR’s analytical service, the average duration of stay for Russians arriving to Thailand on organised tours in August fell to seven to 10 days (compared with 12-14 days last year), while the average price of a tour to Phuket dropped 10-12 per cent to US$700 (about B24,207) from Moscow and to US$500 (about B17,291) from Eastern Russia.

“More and more often it is the budget, not the weather, that determines the choice of destination by tourists. For instance, traditionally Koh Samui used to be popular in summer because of nearly zero rain and storms, but this year the island is less popular than Phuket, where to the contrary the weather is unpredictable, but direct charter flights are available and cheap hotels are aplenty,” says Tatiana Dashkova from ATOR member-company Russian Express.

Ms Dashkova’s colleagues from Intourist believe that direct charter flights by major operators are one of the factors determining Thailand’s rising popularity among Russians in the low season. Transportation costs account for a significant share of a packaged tour price and using charters instead of scheduled flights let operators make their offers cheaper.

Read more at http://www.thephuketnews.com/russian-arrivals-to-phuket-grow-on-affordable-prices-despite-the-weather-58913.php#HEFC2MCR8IzMkI1c.99

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