The economy of Phuket will pick up over the next couple of years because the Russian economy, ruble and stock market are finally recovering. Russia’s energy and commodity driven economy was hit hard by low energy and commodity prices, along with President Obama’s sanctions in response to conflict in Crimea in 2014 and other troubles in Eastern Ukraine.
The election of Donald Trump offers hope in thawing frosty US-Russia relations. However, it might be difficult to get Congress to significantly ease or eliminate the sanctions altogether.
Russian business sentiment, consumer confidence and capital/investment inflows were already improving before President Trump was elected, as oil prices began to stabilize and modestly recover. This helped the ruble to bottom in early 2016 at just below the US$1:Rub0.013 level and to subsequently rise to US$1:Rub0.017 (as of last month).