Russian Sputnik vaccine a boon for Phuket tourism
- Thailand’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has just approved the Russian Sputnik vaccine.
- The Russian outbound market is the largest in the world outside of China.
- As Russians prepare for the fall and winter seasons, the approval of the Sputnik vaccine is the perfect time for the high season, which begins this November.
In the traditional snowbird period from November to March, temperatures drop sharply in Russia and also in many parts of northern Europe, signaling travelers to flee Phuket for the tropical chimes and clear blue skies.
Today tourism actors in Phuket, Thailand announce the groundbreaking approval of the Sputnik vaccine by the Thai Center for COVID-19 Situation Management (CCSA), which is set to unleash the Russian market in the southern Thai island.
“This is great news for Phuket. It is time to move beyond the sandbox and lay the foundations for a wider tourism initiative, ”said Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of the Phuket Tourist Association. “The industry can now go back to basics and focus on the Northern European winter season. This is a great opportunity for Phuket. These are our legacy markets. “
Laguna Phuket, an integrated travel destination in the popular Bangtao Beach area, comprised of 7 hotels; a PCR testing center operated by Bangkok Hospital; and acres of open space, gardens and lagoons, has already benefited from the Phuket Sandbox due to its reputation as a safe haven, but this is a big step up, according to managing director Ravi Chandran.
“The adoption of the Sputnik vaccine is a turning point for Phuket,” he said. “The Russian outbound market is the largest in the world outside of China, and the timing is perfect as the high season starts in November this year. Phuket Sandbox has proven to be a success and this will now further enhance these achievements for all hotels, tourism operators and the local community on the island. “
From July 1st to the end of August, more than 300,000 hotel rooms were booked by international visitors who came via the Phuket Sandbox Initiative, and the trend is increasing as the high season approaches. Planned and chartered Russian airlines are expected to arrive in Phuket from October 2021.
Speaking about the market potential of “finished” products, C9 Hotelworks CEO Bill Barnett said, “The Russians, who typically have an average stay of 11-12 nights, are perfect when they enter the 2021 winter wonderland and the changing Market get fit for the sandbox. “