Phuket’s Chalong Pier sets sail for smart upgrade, boosting tourist experience

Photo: by rainier rawai.

Phuket’s regional marine office has initiated the enhancement of its fourth private pier, Chalong Pier, to a smart pier to improve tourist services. The upgrade, which is in collaboration with several agencies including the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa), is expected to cost around 60 million baht.

At present, Phuket boasts three other smart piers: Ao Por Pier, Visit Panwa Pier and Rassada Pier. Ao Por Pier had the distinction of being the first smart pier in Thailand.

According to Natchapong Pranit, the director of the Phuket Marine Office, smart piers employ digital solutions to raise the bar for tourism service standards and safety, thus boosting tourist confidence.

The marine office plans to collaborate with operators of other piers run by state agencies and private operators to enhance services and safety. Phuket currently has 18 piers and five marinas that service 40,000 passengers per day during the high season, with the number decreasing to half during other times of the year.

Several business operators have shown interest in developing new marinas at Ao Makham, Ao Kung and Mai Khao, with their proposed development plans currently under review. The business operators are also supportive of a cruise terminal development project as the island is a popular stopping point for cruise liners passing through the region.

Recently, the provincial marine office and the local maritime tourism industry organised a workshop for approximately 100 boat service operators and crew to prepare them for the upcoming high season.

The participants were urged to study navigation rules, review operation standards, inspect communication tools and safety gear, and strictly adhere to storm warning instructions.

Natchapong Pranit emphasised that safety is one of the measures that can boost tourist confidence.

Marine officials in Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga have also established operations standards to ensure tour boats’ safety. As part of these standards, tour boat trips must inform their region’s maritime traffic and safety centre of their trips, reported the Phuket News.

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Jimmy Donovan

Jimmy, currently with The Thaiger, translates his global journalism experience to bring insights about Thailand to life. Originally from St Albans, England, he now calls Bangkok home, where he focuses on delivering nuanced socio-political stories. His robust skill set and commitment to truth have established him as a trusted voice in journalism.

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