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Half a million Russians arrived in Phuket in six months. Now, there’s growing resentment | ABC News


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An influx of Russians is transforming the holiday island of Phuket, driving up property prices as well as fuelling local resentment over the flow of money into the country.
While Western countries have sought to isolate Russia with sanctions, Thailand has welcomed Russian visitors as it tries to rebuild its tourism industry post-COVID.
The Thai government has recently moved to increase the length of Russian tourist visas from 30 days to 90 days.
Almost half a million Russians arrived in Phuket in the first half of this year and more than 9,000 of those were granted long-stay visas.
To cater to this market, Russian restaurants and businesses have begun popping up, while signs and menus have been translated into Cyrillic.
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