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The future of Yachting in Thailand

Vicky Karantzavelou - 22 December 2016, 00:10

For four days, The Thailand Yacht Show 2016 presented the yachting opportunities to Thailand, including the magnificent marine tourism attractions, the marinas, as well as the yachting regulations of the country.

With 60 exhibitors, and no less than 55 vessels on display including 18 superyachts, the second edition of the Thailand Yacht Show in partnership with the Thailand government was most certainly ‘bigger and better’ than any before – a good sign of things to come as the show matures over the next few years

The aim of the Thai government is to make Thailand the marina hub of the ASEAN area, and the country the Asia’s premier yachting destination. To achieve being a hub of maritime transportation and marine tourism of ASEAN, the Thai government has developed an economic and restoration policy called “Thailand Marina Hub of ASEAN”. The plan is to promote Marina Tourism in Thailand, and to support the whole tourism industry, local wisdom, and culture. This project is expected to create job opportunity, income distribution in local communities, sustainable economic expansion of related business chain, such as hotels and resorts, golf courses, food and beverage companies etc all of which will contribute to the country’s economic value at all levels and in an integrated manner.


Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand Mrs Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul during her visit in the Thailand Yachting Show 2016

The minister said that the Government’s support is vital because of the huge potential of this industry to benefit all Thai citizens. “We are confident that the yacht show will help boost Thailand’s tourism industry, which in turn will translate into direct economic benefits for related local businesses – driving job creation, while distributing sustainable income and improving local infrastructure too.”


Managing Director of the Thailand Yacht Show Andy Treadwell

“We want to make Thailand the yachting and boating capital of Asia, but also the preferred winter destination for the global superyacht fleet. The Asian economy is growing fast and as a lot of wealth is being generated in the area, people are looking for a new life style choices. So, we decided to show them the boating life style. Also, we want to give to the boat owners of the West a new destination. The Mediterranean Sea is definitely the first yacht destination, but South East Asia can be the second one, and overpass the Caribbean Sea.”, said Mr Treadwell.


Mrs Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Tourism Authority of Thailand representative chairperson of the Minister’s Tourism Working Group

During her speech “The Making of Thailand as Asia’s Premier Yachting Destination” Mr Juthaporn presented the marinas of Thailand, the sailing sites including sailing routes from Phuket and Krabi. Also, she presented sailing opportunities in the Gulf of Thailand including sailing routes from Pattaya and Samui.


An overview of the room during the Thailand Yachting Forum


Yachting in Andaman Sea – New cruising grounds for international sailors Mr. Vincent Tabuteau

In his speech, Mr Tabuteau proposed as alternative routes to the Mediterranean Sea in the summer and Caribbean Sea in the winter, the Indonesia, and the Andaman Sea accordingly. He explained that the ASEAN area is the largest and the most exotic cruising grounds in the world, covering an area equivalent to Scotland to Red Sea. The Andaman Sea is ideal for cruising during winter as it is sunny with fair winds, with good weather and high pressure. Also, there is easy access with international flights.


Not only luxurious yachts, but also luxurious cars !!!


Mr Ron Patston from Gulf Charters Thailand

Mr. Patston explained that yachting in the Gulf of Thailand is ideal for families, groups and individuals who are looking for a day cruising, called “The day trip market”, or sailors for a sailing holiday called ‘Bareboat charter market”.  But, yet there is no market for the super yachts. For 2016, the ‘Day trip market” counted for 10,000 people per month hiring speed boats, and power and sailing catamarans. The ‘Bareboat charter market” consists of sailors of all over the world families, or multi families groups, between 2-10 people per boat, while the holiday makers spend from 7-21 days in the Gulf of Thailand.


Mr Matthew Na Nagara from Thai Marine Business Association

Mr Na Nagara presented the marine infrastructure of Thailand. The total berths in Thailand are 1554, of which 877 in Phuket, 380 in Pattaya, and 130 in Krabi. Also, he explained the economic benefits from yachting tourism, giving some examples. An average yacht visiting Thailand is 15 meters and has about 10.5 million THB value. A average boat owner spends about 87,000 THB per month when leaving a boat in Thailand. The 1,554 berths produce 134 million Thai Baht per month or 1.6 billion THB per year revenue to Thailand.










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