Winter has turned frigid in the far northern hemisphere and that means the Russians are back in Pattaya.
More than 2,500 Russians arrived in Thailand in the first three days of 2022, the most from any country. More than a few have made their way to Pattaya.
Premrudee Jittivuthikal, vice president of the Walking Street Community, said Jan. 3 her King Seafood restaurant did good business during the New Year’s holiday even though Pattaya’s nightlife strip remains mostly closed.
King’s golden goose used to be Chinese, but these days, Russians and northern Europeans are the main customers, Premrudee said.
Swedes and Germans followed Russians for the most international arrivals so far this young year.
Damrongkiat Pinitkarn, secretary for the Entertainment and Tourism Association of Pattaya, said foreign tourism is still bad, but has improved with most arrivals from the U.S. and Europe.
What’s missing are the Asian tourists because governments like those in China and South Korea have prohibited overseas tours, he said.
Damrongkiat said big events organized by city hall have helped propel the tourism industry on the back of domestic travelers. While bars and nightlife officially remain closed, many changed to “restaurants” to reopen, which has helped, he added.