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Superyacht crew visas slated for November

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PHUKET: Special visas for foreign-flagged superyacht crew is expected to be rolled out by November, confirmed the Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.

The ‘new package’ for superyachts will include changes in law for visas, as well as tax exemptions, all timed to line up with an international superyacht show organized by the Ministry of Transport, explained Ms Kobkarn.

“The visa for the crew will match the permit for the yacht, which should allow the boat and crew to work effectively during their stay in Thailand,” Ms Kobkarn told the Phuket Gazette in an exclusive interview yesterday.

“It is the intention of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to make Thailand a world-class hub for yachts and cruise boats in Southeast Asia. We think Phuket is ready and will make it the first location for an international superyacht show.”

The project of securing special visas for superyacht crew and tax exemptions is being helmed by Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Janthong.

“He is leading the project and working with other departments, while we are taking the reins in the way of public relations and promotion,” Ms Kobkarn said.

Ms Kobkarn said that she expected the Phuket International Yacht Show to host between 20 and 30 superyachts.

“The owners of superyachts around the world can come and explore the opportunities available to them in Thailand as we showcase the country at the yacht show,” Ms Kobkarn said. “If possible, we would like to make this an annual event.”

Once charter activity increases in Southeast Asia, industry experts forecast that regional ownership will follow suit with new yachts being brought to Phuket as a home port.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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