Local media Thailand Nation reported on March 10 that the Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) in Thailand are planning to introduce alternative payment methods, including cryptocurrency, for Russian tourists in Thailand.
Russian tourists have faced financial constraints since payment companies Visa and Mastercard announced on March 5 that they were suspending support for cards issued by Russia outside the country to increase pressure on Moscow to end its military offensive on Ukraine.
The president of the Phuket Tourist Association, Ruktaengam Bhummikitti, recently led the discussion about allowing Russian tourists to use cryptocurrencies as a last resort and emergency measure if paperwork is not accepted.
Rockingham also suggested that Thai companies could integrate the Russian Mir card payment system, which was developed in 2014 after Visa and MasterCard rejected the services of a few Russian banks. Because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Currently, some tourism sector companies are using the Chinese payment platform Unionpay, which is also a provider of bank card services, to offer another payment method to Russians in the country to cover their bills.
Phuket, a haven for Russian tourists
Phuket has been a popular tourist destination for Russian tourists, moreover, 3,000 tourists from both Ukraine and Russia are stranded on vacation in both Thai cities: Koh Samui, Krabi, and Pattaya.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) the flights were canceled due to the conflict between the two countries, as a result, the tourists were unable to return to their countries.
Do not Russian Airlines fly to the Phuket region and even the Russian Aeroflot and S7 Airlines, whose planes are heading to Phuket, many countries have banned their airspace for Russian planes.
On the other hand, the Thai government is trying to help Russian and Ukrainian tourists by waiving the $60 visa extension fee.