Concessions made to marine tourism

PHUKET TOWN: From July 1, foreign yachtsmen will be able to certify their foreign captains’ licenses for use in Thailand, in Phuket. Currently, foreign skippers need to travel to Bangkok or Kantang in Trang Province to certify their licenses before being allowed to sail their boats in Thai waters. Marine Department Director General Wanchai Sarathulthat said the license certification would be done at the “one stop” facility at Chalong. The announcement was made at a hearing on the development of Thailand’s marine leisure industry, held at the Pearl Hotel on Wednesday and attended by over 200 representatives from both the government and private sectors. The change was the first tangible result of efforts by the Phuket-based Marine Alliance of Thailand (MAT) to get government cooperation in easing regulations and restrictions which, the Alliance maintains, have prevented the industry from fulfilling its true potential. In another step forward for the boating industry, a representative of the Phuket Provincial Excise Office (PPEO) said the agency agreed with a proposal to ease duties on imported materials used in boat-building in order to help the domestic boat-building industry. Despite several positive developments and an agreement to hold more meetings, there was a certain amount of antagonism between some government officials and MAT members, most of whom are foreigners. Speaking bluntly, Tourism Authority of Thailand Region 4 Director Anupharp Thirarath said that current regulations were flexible enough, and that his department had never received any complaints from foreign yachtsmen about them. He said that some operators were using tourism as a buzzword to advance their own business interests.

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

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