In a meeting at the Phuket Provincial hall on May the 11th the Marine Department Director-General Chula Sukmanop outlined a four point approach to making Thailand the maritime hub in Southeast Asia. He said that government offices will be working closely with maritime industry leaders to establish potential locations for new marinas in Thailand, develop and promote a yacht show, establish a one-year chartering licence for superyachts and review other laws that are currently hampering the growth of the industry.
“We want to make Thailand more attractive to the yachting industry. We did a study 11 years ago about potential locations for more marinas. However, the information is now out of date, so we need to talk with the public and source ideas for promising locations in both the Andaman and the Gulf of Thailand.”
“We are looking to hold another yacht show, similar to what Phuket has done in the past. We will be aiming to have it sometime during the high season. It will be a positive boost to the yachting businesses in Phuket.” This proposal did not receive a great deal of support from the delegates who generally agreed that Phuket did not need another show.
“The super yacht charter license could be for one year. This would attract more superyachts to Phuket, and allowing them to charter while here will provide a lot of revenue to Phuket and Thailand. We hope to have this in place for the next High Season”
There were few details on which laws needed to be reviewed but one issue discussed was the visa situation for crews of visiting yachts. Currently a foreign national is given just a one month entry after which the crew had to leave and re enter Thailand, often experiencing difficulty in doing so and again only being allowed a one month stay.