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Phuket to get two of eight new marinas planned for the south

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket to get two of eight new marinas planned for the south | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Two new marinas are to be built in Phuket as part of the government’s plan to stimulate economic growth by turning Thailand into a marine leisure hub in the ASEAN region.

The marina development plan, announced by Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, includes construction of eight new marinas – four in the Andaman Sea and four in the Gulf of Thailand – to service large yachts, including superyachts, along coastal areas in five provinces: two in Phuket; two in Phang Nga; two at Koh Samui; one in Chonburi and another in Trat.

“These new marinas will stimulate economic growth throughout the region, especially in the tourism sector,” said Mr Arkhom.

The two marinas planned for Phuket are the Asian Marina in Rassada and the Kung Bay Marina in Pa Khlok, the latter being the larger of the two, and deep enough to handle superyachts.

Covering 24 rai, the Asian Marina is relatively small. Its capacity is limited to handling smaller yachts due to the marina’s depth of just five meters.

The larger Kung Bay Marina covers 108 rai and has a depth of eight meters, making it suitable for superyachts.

The government is currently negotiating with local land owners to secure long-term leases on the numerous parcels of land in each area tagged for the marina projects, confirmed a ministry source.

“Construction of the Kung Bay Marina in Phuket is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2017. However, much will depend on when environmental impact assessments are complete. Once construction is underway, though, the marina should take about one year to complete,” he said.

“A start date for construction of the Asian Marina has not yet been set, as negotiations are ongoing with local land owners, as well as with potential investors. It could mean that construction may not begin for another two years,” said the source.

All eight of the new marinas are to be built on private land, confirmed Mr Arkhom.

“In Phang Nga, the Aqua Star Marina covers 20 rai in Tai Muang, about 37 kilometers from Phuket International Airport. The berth depth there is 3-5 meters. Further north, the Ban Bangchan Marina in Takuatung covers 200 rai. Its berths also have a depth of 3-5 meters,” said Mr Arkhom.

On the gulf side, the marinas at Koh Samui are more shallow. Mai Gan Cape Marina comprises 37 rai at Laem Mai Kaen with berth depths between 1.5 and 3.5 meters. The Tong-Tanode Bay Marina is smaller, between 15 and 25 rai, and about the same depth.

“Laem Tien Port in Chonburi is 30km from Pattaya and 180km from Bangkok. The water depth there is 5-6m.

“Ban Laem Sok in Trat province is the smallest of the new marinas, covering just seven rai near Koh Kood. The water depth has not yet been established,” he said.

Mr Arkhom said that the transport ministry expected to attract domestic and foreign investment by offering investment opportunities with the marina projects.

“A budget has not yet been set, as the costs of each project have to be evaluated beforehand. Budget allocation depends upon the results of the environmental impact assessment reports,” he said.

Building the marinas, as well as reviewing the laws and regulations regarding foreign superyachts in Thai waters, involves collaboration between numerous departments, said the minister.

“The Marine Department, Customs Department, Revenue Department, and the Immigration Bureau are also involved in the process. We are making progress. However, some of the rules governing foreign-registered superyachts may have to be revised,” he said.

— Sukawin Tanthavanich

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Songkran

Pattaya announces plans to hold Songkran Festival

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Pattaya announces plans to hold Songkran Festival | The Thaiger

The tourist city of Pattaya is holding Thai New Year, or Songkran Festival, this year as long as they receive the “go ahead” from the government. The Pattaya City Mayor, Sonthaya Khunplume, made the announcement today, saying that the water festival will be held with all the traditional activities including those taking place at temples.

Songkran is the biggest holiday of the year for Thai people and falls on the public holidays from April 10 to 15. Pattaya City officials say they have a plan to celebrate the “Big Day” of Wan Lai on April 19, which will include water fights, as long as the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration and the Ministry of Public Health approves it.

The event, which is hoped to domestic tourism and the local economy, will feature covid precautions. Mask-wearing and going through screening checkpoints will be part of the safety measures for the event, as well as crowd limits, temperature checks and social distancing.

The Pattaya City mayor has pointed towards the city’s past successes in holding events under the Covid-19 safety measures. Such events included fireworks and music festivals. He went on to assure that holding the Songkran Festival would be successful as well under the Covid safety regulations.

Recently, Pattaya City launched the “Welcome Back Pattaya” campaign to lure domestic tourists back to the city as Covid-19 situation has continually improved. The campaign is aimed towards attracting domestic tourists and is expected to boost the local economy after many businesses in the province were ordered to close last month.

Those businesses were already struggling to survive as many hotels took their featured restaurants to the streets by offering take-away meals and street stalls. Schools, entertainment venues, gyms, pools among others have reopened with travel restrictions, for people entering the province, also having been lifted.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Tourism

Thailand to introduce “area quarantine” for international visitors from April

Maya Taylor

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Thailand to introduce “area quarantine” for international visitors from April | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Andreas M on Unsplash

From next month, foreign visitors to the Kingdom will be able to experience the delights of “area quarantine”, after the government confirmed the scheme for 5 provinces. Following a meeting with the Public Health Ministry, the Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn confirmed that Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya), and Surat Thani (Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan) have been chosen to pilot the scheme.

Foreign tourists opting for area quarantine will be required to remain in their hotel rooms for the first 3 days of their stay. They will be tested for Covid-19 and, if negative after 3 days, will be allowed to leave their room and roam freely around the resort for the remainder of their 14-day quarantine. At the end of the 14-day period, they will once again be tested for the virus and, if negative, allowed to travel around the quarantine area.

In order to avail of the scheme, tourists will still need to fulfil the other requirements for travel, including obtaining a Certificate of Entry, a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to travel, and adequate health insurance. Nation Thailand reports that the area quarantine plan will be run by 29 travel agencies, under TAT supervision.

The area quarantine scheme comes as the TAT hails the success of the first “golf quarantine” scheme, which operates in a similar manner. Travellers from countries considered “low-risk” for Covid-19 can come to Thailand for a golf holiday at approved golf resorts in the Kingdom. Conditions are similar to those attached to area quarantine, with the golfers having to spend the first 3 days in their room, test negative for the virus, and then enjoy free rein of the resort, with a few rounds of golf thrown in.

Thailand’s economy has been decimated by the fallout from the pandemic, in particular the loss of international tourism. The current mandatory 14-day quarantine period is seen as the biggest hurdle to overcome in order to re-ignite the sector. In 2019, international tourism contributed 2 trillion baht out of a total 3.01 trillion baht tourism trade. In the same year, tourism made up 17% of Thailand’s GDP.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Pattaya

Pattaya police raid nightclub suspected of presenting pornographic shows

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pattaya police raid nightclub suspected of presenting pornographic shows | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/นิธิธร จินตกานนท์

Pattaya City Police inspected a nightclub after reports that the venue was hosting pornographic shows on the weekends. Although the nightclub, Dragon Man Club, wasn’t presenting a sexually explicit show when officers came by, the owner was arrested for operating an entertainment business and selling alcohol without the proper permit.

Police say a tip was made through social media from an anonymous source. Officers asked the nightclub owner for the venue’s license, but the owner did not have the document at the time. Police arrested the owner. The nightclub owner was not named in reports.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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