Connect with us

Thai Life

On Deck: Two voices are better than one

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Recent comments from Weerasak Kowsurat of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) caught my eye, and could have profound repercussions for Thailand’s yacht charter industry. The following is excerpted from a December 23 article in The Nation:

“TCEB chairman of the board Weerasak Kowsurat said … providing MICE visas and MICE work permits to business travellers … could attract more events, including huge exhibitions from overseas. Currently, many MICE travellers are required to submit documents to get a work permit before being allowed to enter the Kingdom to participate in an event.”

At first glance, this seems to be just another idea from a well-meaning government agency, but after deeper thought this could set the foundation for something akin to a crew visa for international sailors.

In previous columns I’ve written about the Thai government’s drive to attract more superyachts. The owner of a foreign-flagged superyacht of 30 meters or more can purchase a 12-month licence to legally charter in Thai waters. This licence has already been introduced, but the problem of visas for the crew still remains. Those who arrive without a visa can get a 30-day tourist visa on arrival and extend it in country, before having to leave and re-enter. If you purchase a visa overseas then you may be eligible for a 60-day tourist visa.

The problem, however, concerns both the length and type of visa.

While the Marine Department is aware of this issue, it is the responsibility of Immigration, and I doubt it’s on their priority list.

With the TCEB raising concerns about the same issue, perhaps there is some light at the end of this tunnel. Even more interesting is their reference to work permits – something that has not been talked about by the Marine Department. Work permits are the responsibility of the Labor Department and there needs to be a company sponsoring the applicant, a suitable visa and a whole raft of supporting documents just to apply for one.

While the Marine Department has openly acknowledged visa issues and is genuinely attempting to find a solution, nothing has been said about work permit issues yet.

Let’s hope the powers-that-be open inter-departmental dialogue. Perhaps it’s time the Ministry of Tourism and Sports looks at the big picture; rather than cherry picking a few big ticket items and some low-hanging fruit (like the superyacht licence), a more holistic view could help generate more far-reaching benefits for all.

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

— Duncan Worthington


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 mins ago

30 million baht added to vaccine side effects compensation fund

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Plan for 16-week gap between AstraZeneca vaccines dropped

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

CCSA: 120 day reopening will proceed with conditions

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


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

Sponsored by image

Tourism3 hours ago

Sandbox latest, CCSA says all regions reopening must reach 70% local vaccination

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,667 new infections and 32 deaths

Politics6 hours ago

Thamanat elected to role of head ‘fixer’ in Palang Pracharat party

Expats16 hours ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World21 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Thailand21 hours ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Drugs21 hours ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand22 hours ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport23 hours ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of23 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8