©Reuters. Thailand Proposes Thousands of Stranded Russian Tourists to Use Crypto
Bangkok, March 10 (.).- The Thai authorities have proposed that the thousands of Russian tourists affected by the sanctions due to the war in Ukraine can pay with cryptocurrencies and through the Chinese payment system Unionpay, similar to Mastercard (NYSE 🙂 or Visa (NYSE:).
At least 7,000 Russians and Ukrainians have been trapped in Thailand, mainly in tourist places such as Pattaya and the islands of Phuket and Samui, for which the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is approving measures to facilitate your stay.
Since Mastercard and Visa stopped working in Russia, many Russian tourists have been unable to use their cards in Thailand, while flight cancellations due to the conflict affect Russians and Ukrainians.
The Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, announced on Tuesday some measures such as making it easier for Russian tourists to pay through Unionpay, which requires hotels to incorporate this system, which is less widespread than Mastercard or Visa.
In addition, the authorities want to facilitate payment with cryptocurrencies, for which they will also need to adapt the payment systems of hotels and other businesses, according to the Thairath media outlet.
Other initiatives include exempting Russians and Ukrainians from paying visa extension fees and finding temporary accommodation for those who cannot afford their hotel rooms.
According to the National News Bureau of Thailand, dozens of tourists are calling the TAT offices to ask about flight cancellations, accommodation and payment problems.
TAT Samui said it is contacting Russian tourists through the Telegram mobile app and referring cases to the Russian Embassy in Bangkok.
Thailand, which in February reduced the quarantine from seven to one day for foreign tourists vaccinated against covid-19, is one of the main tourist destinations for Russians and Ukrainians in Asia.
Ukrainians make up a small portion of tourists in Thailand, but Russians were the largest nationality in January with more than 23,700, while in 2019 – before the pandemic – their number reached 1.4 million.
According to a report by the University of Thailand Chamber of Commerce, Ukraine’s war over Russian invasion may cause Thailand’s GDP to drop by between 0.5 and 1.5 percent, depending on whether it lasts for three months. or up to a year.
Thus, the losses will range between 73,425 million baht (2,218 million dollars or 2,000 euros) if the conflict lasts three months and 244,750 million baht (7,394 million dollars or 6,682 million euros) if it lasts a year.
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