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Russia, Thailand see reciprocal growth of tourist flows — agency

August 03, 2016, 18:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Thai tourists are showing great interest in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, says the Thai minister of tourism

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MOSCOW, August 3 /TASS/. Russia and Thailand have seen reciprocal growth of tourist flows this year, the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturism) said on Wednesday after a meeting between the agency’s chief Oleg Safonov and Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.

"The citizens of our two countries have started showing growing interest in travelling thanks to the joint efforts of agencies in charge of tourism in both countries," the Rosturism press service quoted Safonov as saying.

"I am pleased to note that tourist flows from Thailand into Russia have been on the rise though on a smaller scale (than from Russia into Thailand). I hope the Thais will find Russia interesting particularly due to international events like the World Football Cup, which Russia will host in 2018," Safonov said.

Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said, in turn, that Thai tourists were showing great interest in the 2018 World Cup because football was extremely popular in Thailand and had turned into a truly people’s sport.

"I am sure you will see many Thai fans at the stadiums in 2018," the Thai minister of tourism and sports said.

Thai Airlines are planning to resume direct flights from Moscow to Bangkok soon. That, according to Rosturism, will give additional impetus to tourism growth.

Security was a separate topic for discussion. Oleg Safonov stressed the importance of security cooperation between the two countries within the framework of international organizations such as APEC (Asia-Pacific Cooperation) and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

The Thai minister of tourism and sports pledged that Thailand would increase security measures in tourism. Tourism police in all Thai provinces, which have sea resorts, is going to double its staff this year and introduce a new system of guarding law and order. It will involve both law enforces and ordinary citizens who will monitor the security situation in their regions, Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul added.

"In a bid to develop tourist exchanges with Russia, Thailand is planning to expand the geography of tours to regions, which have never been tourist before. Apart from beach tourism, the kingdom will also launch ecological, ethnographic, health-improvement and cruise programs," the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism said.

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