A local immigration chief in Phuket province has revealed that nearly 7,600 Russian nationals have sought to extend their stay in the province.
According to Pol Col Thanet Sukchai, Chief of the Phuket Immigration Office, many Russian tourists obtain visas to stay on the island for three months or not more than 90 days. To escape the winter season in their home country, some have opted for temporary residency in the districts of Rawai and Chalong.
Pol Col Thanet added others are seeking to extend their stay in the capital district, followed by Thalang and Kathu.
Data on total arrivals showed an average of 300,000 foreign visitors entering the island per month, or 10,000 people per day. The number continues to rise as tourism recovers after three lean pandemic years. Russia accounts for the most visitors by nationality, followed by India, Kazakhstan, England, and Australia.
As the number of foreign tourists on the island rises, immigration police have also launched a public service campaign to ensure the safety of foreign nationals and local residents.
Thanawat Ongcharoen, Vice-president of the Phuket Tourism Association, stated that most Russian visitors stay in hotels. Some rent houses with the owners reporting their stay to immigration officers, as required by law. (NNT)