Phuket, Thailand – Thailand’s marine industry is now on the national agenda, which lead to a public hearing yesterday at Phuket City Hall to discuss how to develop Phuket as the maritime hub in Asean. A large turnout from the Island’s marine industry, local government departments and associated authorities together discussed a number of items and reached consensus on the need for a special charter license for superyachts.
On the back of a meeting between Mr. Gulu Lalvani, Chairman of Royal Phuket Marina, and Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports, in January earlier this year, the Royal Thai Government has put marine tourism on the national agenda and Phuket is set to become the testing ground.
“I met with Khun Kobkarn in January after we had hosted the Phuket International Boat Show at Royal Phuket Marina and we discussed many ways in which to develop Thailand’s marine industry. Among a series of ideas I proposed was to introduce a special charter licence for superyachts,” said Mr. Lalvani.
“There are many superyacht owners who would bring their superyachts to Phuket if they could charter them while here, and I know many people who charter superyachts around the world for in excess of USD100,000 per week. Introducing a charter license for superyachts who wish to charter in Thailand will significantly increase charter revenue for the country,” added Mr. Lalvani.
With its stunning cruising grounds and the best marina facilities in the region, Thailand is the destination of choice for superyachts coming to Asia and amendments to the current rules and regulations will likely encourage growth in superyacht arrivals and potential charter income.
Following Thai Prime Minister Mr. Prayuth Chan-ocha taking a direct interest in developing Thailand’s marine industry, yesterday’s public meeting was led by Mr. Chula Sukmanop, Director-General, Thailand Marine Department together with Mr. Nisit Jansomwong, Governor of Phuket. With over 150 members of the Island’s marine industry and relevant authorities present, Mr. Sukmanop explained the government’s aim to position Phuket as the maritime hub in Asean, to improve the current legal framework, and to develop a special charter license for superyachts.
“The superyacht 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,” commented Mr. Sukmanop.
“There are still many details to discuss but I am very pleased to see my suggestions to Khun Kobkarn earlier this year making progress. The potential superyacht charter revenue will be significant for Phuket and Thailand. In a few years it is likely to be in the hundreds of million US dollars,” added Mr. Lalvani.
Often referred to as the Monaco of Asia, Royal Phuket Marina is a 5-Gold Anchor, 100-berth marina centrally located on Phuket’s East Coast. A destination in its own right, the marina is complemented by a collection of award-winning luxurious waterfront villas and condominiums, and a plethora of dining and shopping options along the marina boardwalk.