Cashless and flightless, Russian tourists stuck in Thailand

Thailand Russian Tourists
Posted at 2:21 PM, Mar 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-12 14:21:13-05

BANGKOK (AP) — Thousands of Russian tourists are stranded in Thailand’s beach resorts because of the war in Ukraine, many unable to pay their bills or return home because of sanctions and canceled flights.

Thai tourism authorities say there are about 6,500 Russian tourists stuck in Phuket, Surat Thani, Krabi and Pattaya, popular seaside destinations, in addition to 1,000 Ukrainians.

Many airlines canceled flights back to Russia and international credit cards for Russians became inaccessible.

Thai officials are trying to find low-cost alternative accommodation for people forced to stay for an extended period.

The crisis in Europe also put a crimp in tourism recovery plans for the Southeast Asian nation, which has hosted more Russians than any of its neighbors before the pandemic hit.