Connect with us

Pattaya

On Deck: Ocean Emerald first to receive superyacht licence

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

image
image

PHUKET: The visually stunning superyacht Ocean Emerald is the first superyacht to receive one of the recently launched 12-month superyacht licences. Currently based in Pattaya at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Ocean Emerald is being heavily promoted in Phuket by numerous locally-based charter agents.

Designed by Norman Foster and built in Italy, the 41meter Ocean Emerald is one of four built to the same space-age design. Since she received her licence-to-charter, all and sundry have been promoting the fact that she can be chartered in Thai waters and is apparently expected in Phuket for the high season.

Ocean Emerald is the first of what the government hopes will be many more, but so far she is the only superyacht that is legally available to charter in Thai waters.

Does one boat make an industry?

Not really, but then I’m playing devil’s advocate. I’m being facetious. Ocean Emerald is the first, but hopefully not the only, superyacht to get the license. More will apply and be approved in due course.

The superyacht licence move is a positive step for the industry; however, let’s not lose sight of the rest of Thailand’s charter industry. An industry which has over the years shown robust growth and has been relatively resilient to the challenges Phuket and Thailand’s tourism industry have faced.

The charter industry at large needs support and change from the top. The government needs to look at it across the board, not identify ‘quick fixes’ or PR opportunities, but take a holistic view. And dare I say it? Create a plan.

While the industry has shown considerable growth over the years, much of this following the 2004 tax reductions, I would argue that it still has much untapped potential.

Back in 2003 when local business and marine industry figures came together to push for change, the end result was a successful reduction in the import taxes and duties to zero. However, also on the agenda at the time was the desire, indeed the need, to change regulations and recognize the term ‘pleasure yachts’, a term which still is not enshrined in law and which to all intents and purposes does not exist in Thailand.

Without recognizing recreational sailing, defining a ‘pleasure’ yacht and developing regulations and rules that are applicable specifically to such, little will change, yet Phuket’s marine industry and charter industry in particular offer such potential.

Is a ten meter speedboat less important than a 30 meter plus superyacht?

Of course not, both are part of a marine industry which contributes significant direct and indirect revenues to Thailand’s tourism earnings, and primarily to foreign exchange earnings too.

All you need to do is head to any of Phuket’s marinas and see the vast diversity of boats available for charter. Whether it’s a day charter or a multi-day charter, Phuket caters to all.

Phuket is home to global charter operators such as Sunsail and The Moorings, as well as many long-established local charter agents like Asia Marine, Elite Yachting and Boat Lagoon Cruises, as well as many smaller agents and private charterers. Together, they are the engine of Phuket’s charter industry and continue to drive overseas awareness of the beauty of Phuket’s cruising grounds and the surrounding areas.

Phuket (and Thailand’s) charter industry is still an unpolished gem. It promotes the best of what Phuket and Thailand is all about and leaves minimal environmental footprint (at least compared to other tourism activities). Yet apart from the odd Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) overseas exhibition presence, roadshow or photo in a brochure, it gets scant attention.

It’s time for change. It’s time for a more holistic look at the country’s marine industry. If the powers-that-be were to do that, I think they would be pleasantly surprised at what they saw.

Duncan Worthington is a long time Phuket resident and through Infinity Communications (www.infinity-comms.com) consults to leading consumer brands, hospitality and marine clients in Thailand. In his ‘spare time’ he runs the marine portal www.MarineScene.asia. #OnDeckPhuket

— Duncan Worthington

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join 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:

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Legalized gambling in Thailand? PM reveals his Omicron policy stance | Dec 3

South11 hours ago

All 23 districts declared as disaster zones in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Bangkok12 hours ago

Police face criticism over plans to buy millions of baht worth of tear gas and riot gear

advertiseadvertise
Thailand12 hours ago

Tourism minister tells the public “not to worry” about Omicron

Malaysia12 hours ago

Malaysia reports first case of Omicron variant

Thailand12 hours ago

Thai Immigration launches online 90 day report system

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Visa12 hours ago

10-year long term visa scheme takes a step forward, measures approved by PM

Thailand13 hours ago

Pilot seriously injured in F-5 fighter jet crash in Lop Buri

Southeast Asia14 hours ago

Taiwan sets up nighttime vaccination spots with gifting plans

Tourism14 hours ago

Maya Bay reopening likely to be postponed | VIDEO

Contract Package14 hours ago

Thai AirAsia X seeks for new investors as flights to resume next year

Thailand15 hours ago

Government to set up committee to consider opening casinos in Thailand

Southeast Asia15 hours ago

Detained Cambodian monk with refugee status says he could jailed if deported from Thailand

Thailand15 hours ago

Wildlife officials search for Bengal tiger roaming across three provinces

Thailand15 hours ago

CCSA criticises newspaper’s ‘hunt for Africans’ story, clarifies efforts to track travellers

Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Tourism9 months ago

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

Phuket9 months ago

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

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

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

Tourism9 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Trending