BANGKOK, February 10. /TASS/. Russian tourists spent almost $2 billion in Thailand in 2015, Vladimir Sosnov, the chief of the consulate department at the Russian embassy in Bangkok told TASS on Tuesday.
"Thailand’s Sports and Tourism Ministry sent us a statistical report on how Russians spend their holidays in Thailand," the diplomat said, adding that major spending is connected with hotels, food and shopping.
Last year figures show the major spending of Russians in Thailand is payment for accomodation, which is some 29%. Similar percentage goes to food and shopping, 23% for both activities. Transport and entertainment each was 10% of the whole budget.
Shopping in Thailand cost Russians around $443 million, sightseeing some $77 million and entertainment spending stood at $196 million.
"Russia ranks second after the UK among European countries’ nationals spending their vacations in Thailand," Sosnov said, adding that Russia is ninth among all countries. "If comparing the spending, Chinese, Malaysian and UK nationals top the rank, followed by Russia in fourth place."
"Each Russian national spent approximately $130 in Thailand per day," he said, adding that the average length of a holiday is 17 days.
Last year Thailand’s tourism sphere, which comprises 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, faced significant growth. A total amount of foreign tourists reached record-breaking 29.8 million people, which is a 20% increase according to the ministry’s data.
Last year over 880,000 Russians chose Thailand as their holidays destination, which is twice lower than the previous year.
"Thailand has always been one of the most favorite destinations for Russian nationals, so we think that with the improvement of the economic situation the tourist flow will start growing," the diplomat said.