Tourism

Russian billionaire’s visit to Koh Samui gives hope to wealthy tourists

The arrival of several mega-billionaires on the tourist island of Koh Samui and nearby islands has given rise to hope that Thailand’s wealthy travelers will start to rise again. Perhaps now that the Covid-19 restrictions are finally largely lifted, a few luxury superyachts have been spotted arriving on Koh Samui’s shores.

In particular, Alexander Alexandrovich Svetakov, a Russian real estate developer with a fortune in the billions, was spotted arriving on the island of Koh Samui aboard his superyacht Cloudbreak. The 54-year-old Russian is chairman of the Absolut Group and is ranked 881st on this year’s list of the richest people in the world. He is a highly successful real estate developer who controls more property than anyone else in Moscow, with most of his land in the New Moscow area, a region where Moscow has expanded with unprecedented growth over the past decade.

He is now on vacation after sailing from Singapore to Koh Samui on his giant 3.9 billion baht ship. The superyacht sailed with 12 passengers and six crew on board, leaving Singapore on 1 July. To be safe with Covid restrictions, a group of officials from immigration, customs, port security, infectious disease control and the Thai maritime law enforcement command center all boarded the ship together to screen all passengers on board.

Svetakov sailed on the superyacht Cloudbreak around the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, attracting a lot of attention from people on the shore watching the visit to the giant ship. The governor of Surat Thani, home to popular tourist islands, said such a notable getaway from billionaire travelers demonstrates the potential for high-end luxury tourism across Surat Thani. Tourism and government officials hope this will encourage many wealthy travelers to visit these tropical destinations.

Media reports mention another unnamed British billionaire investor who also took his superyacht to the waters off the coast of Koh Samui to enjoy a holiday. High-profile wealthy tourists have prompted government officials to be optimistic about bringing in more wealthy travelers to boost tourism and the huge economy it brings.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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