Thailand gears up to welcome more cruise ships

Thailand is gearing up to welcome more cruise ships. The country is making efforts to improve existing ports, and building new ones, according to government spokesperson Anucha Buraphachaisri.

Today, Anucha cited data from the Tourism and Sports Ministry, revealing that cruises are becoming increasingly popular among tourists. Some 1,800 to 2,400 tourists arrive in Thailand on cruise ships every year during the October to March high season, he said.

Notably, these travellers tend to spend up to 10 times more than regular tourists. Tourists on cruises enjoy marine activities, Thai food, spas, cultural performances and souvenir shopping, Anucha said.

To tap into this lucrative market, Thailand has established more ports for ships to dock, with four main ports currently in operation in Laem Chabang, Phuket, Bangkok and Koh Samui.

The government launched a 10-year plan in 2018 to further develop ports and prepare Thailand for cruise ship traffic. This includes improving facilities, boosting security, and amending laws and regulations, Nation Thailand reported.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Thailand was generating more than 4.84 billion baht on average annually from cruise-ship travellers, said Anucha.

Anucha added that the government is not only opening the country up to cruise ships, but also targeting the film industry, cultural tourism and soft power.

In partnership with Netflix, the authorities have created a travel film titled “Uncover Thailand: A Creative Travel Guide.” The film showcases off-the-beaten-track attractions, as well as venues where local and international films and television series were shot. Anucha believes that this film will attract filmmakers and film buffs to Thailand, while also promoting the country’s culture.

Thailand’s promotion of its culture will provide new business opportunities for locals, according to Anucha.

This news comes as tourists are flocking to Thailand on cruise ships.

On Saturday, a cruise ship brought over 2,000 European tourists to Thailand’s lush holiday paradise of Koh Samui, before heading to Chon Buri province. The 2,409 tourists and 924 crew members arrived at Koh Samui‘s Na Thon Pier on a Mein Schiff 5 cruise ship. The tourists would enjoy a one-day trip before heading to Sri Racha district of Chon Buri province.

During their visit, the tourists had the opportunity to venture around the island. They visited an elephant camp, temples, beaches, local businesses, and rubber-tapping farms.

According to Koh Samui officials, the one-day trip generated at least five million baht for the local economy.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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