Connect with us

Phuket

Changing winds: Minister puts weight behind changes to boost marine tourism

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: A special task force has been formed to come up with viable suggestions for changes to visas and yacht-charter regulations to help boost marine tourism in Phuket, with a working deadline for rolling out the changes by 2016.

“The task force comprises officials from relevant government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Immigration Bureau,” Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul revealed to the Phuket Gazette in an exclusive interview.

“We are working together to come up with suggestions for changes to visas and other regulations that would be best for the country,” she said.

“This includes changes that will boost the chartering of foreign-flagged superyachts in Thai waters.”

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has pledged his full support for bureaucratic changes to help boost marine tourism, Ms Kobkarn added.

“I recently spoke with Transport Minister Air Chief Marshall Prajin Janthong about what can be done to push Phuket as a yachting destination,” she explained.

“Minister Prajin confirmed that he had met with PM Prayut, who he said pledged his full support for improving all aspects of marine tourism, including yacht and superyacht charters.”

Ms Kobkarn said she could not reveal any more details as any proposed changes had yet to be finalized.

“This is an important issue, as any changes will affect different types of visas and businesses. We must also consider internal security and safety measures a top priority, but I will support the changes suggested because it means a lot for tourism,” she said.

“We hope to have new rules in place by the end of this year to help secure the island’s position as the top yachting destination in the region.”

The move to overhaul the visas and laws regulating yacht charters follow a meeting with Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong and Gulu Lalvani, chairman of the Royal Phuket Marina, in January.
At the meeting, Ms Kobkarn vowed to raise concerns voiced about crew visas and the chartering of foreign-flagged superyachts.

“Changing the regulations in order to develop our tourism is a must in response to heightened competition from other yachting destinations in the region,” she said.

“It will take time for the suggested changes to be presented to the Cabinet and approved, but we are making good progress.”

Among the changes to rampup marine tourism in Phuket is the push for a multi-million-baht harbor expansion at the Deep Sea Port at Ao Makham, Ms Kobkarn added.

“Current regulations allow only one-year concessions to operate ports, but we are looking at what can be done to allow long-term concessions,” she said.

The expansion project plans to improve connectivity with other major tourist cruise line ports in the region, Ms Kobkarn explained.

“We are in talks with our neighbors to link together as cruise destination ports,” she said. “We plan to forge network links with Singapore and Vietnam, and Cambodia is drawing plans to develop their marine tourism too.

“Better connectivity will be good for us. We have a lot of beautiful places for marine tours, and cruise line passengers stopping in Phuket will be impressed by many beautiful stops and good facilities at the port.

“We are looking at becoming attractive hosts for yachts, cruise liners and superyachts – all for long-stay, not just short stays.

“This is what we aim to do and I hope to have a clear picture set by the end of the year.”

— Chutharat Plerin

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Nov 1 reopening proposed; arrest for “sexy” officer cosplay | September 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Covid-19 UPDATE: Provincial totals, vaccinations and more

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Contrary to Anutin, US says delivery of vaccines awaits Thailand

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand10 hours ago

Sunsets, ‘Farangs’ and Boring Charisma | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 25

Thailand10 hours ago

CCSA approves reopening delay, state of emergency extension

Thailand11 hours ago

Video of feet on bread appears to be from India, not Thailand

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Thailand’s security council approves Emergency Decree extension | Sep 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 3 new deaths, 322 released from medical care

Malaysia13 hours ago

Malaysia considers further re-opening to domestic tourism

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand Re-opening, Costs and challenges | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 96

Weather14 hours ago

Weather warning issued as tropical storm Dianmu approaches

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Education ministry to accelerate vaccination of over 200,000 teachers

Myanmar15 hours ago

US judge orders Facebook to disclose anti-Rohingya content as part of international case against Myanmar

Tourism15 hours ago

Tourism operators slam government as re-opening postponed to November

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 12,697 new cases and 132 deaths

Tourism3 days ago

Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Economy5 days ago

Cuts to import duty on alcohol, cigars, part of plan to entice wealthy foreigners

Crime3 days ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

Thailand4 days ago

Party at luxury villa in Phuket raided, homeowner allegedly assaults police officer

Coronavirus Vaccines5 days ago

Doctors say cardiac arrest caused death of man given AstraZeneca booster shot

Tourism6 days ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

Covid-19: Detailed info on vaccinations, hospitalisations, and provinces

Thailand5 days ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok4 days ago

Governor says Bangkok will only re-open when safe to do so

Thailand4 days ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Phuket2 days ago

Police suddenly began raiding Patong bars selling alcohol

Thailand4 days ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Crime2 days ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Phuket5 days ago

Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

Thailand4 days ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending