''For 30 years, Scandinavians came to Phuket and boosted the local economy,'' tourism industry spokeswoman Jinnipada Chuenskulthitichote said.
''They paid locals for meals, for transport and for gifts to take home and they respected the beauty of the natural environment.
''Now Phuket has swapped the Scandinavians for Russians. The Russians go to Russian-run resorts, eat in Russian-run restaurants and use their own transport.
''You will have to explain to me how the Phuket economy has benefitted from this change.''
Because of their liking for natural environments and their antipathy to Russians, the Scandinavians have now migrated to Krabi, their new preferred holiday destination.
''Many are still coming through Phuket airport but they head for Krabi instead,'' she said.
The issue of ''quality'' tourists and the real number of tourists coming to Phuket produced a lively discussion yesterday, with Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud chairing the gathering.
As for the total numbers, the Deputy President of Phuket's Chamber of Commerce, Jamlern Seatan, made the point that false figures were being quoted about the number of tourists arriving on Phuket.
Figures from Phuket International Airport included arrivals and departures, he said, and they needed to be examined still further to separate the international arrivals from the domestic visitors.
''The figures need to be precise otherwise investors are misled into believing Phuket needs more accommodation when it actually doesn't,'' he said.
''Immigration's figures are very different. We also need an accurate idea of Phuket's carrying capacity.''
Phuketwan estimates Phuket could have three million international tourists this year but wild figures published in other media - where no checks are made - run as high as 11 million.