Thailand pushes Phuket as ‘Maritime Hub for Southeast Asia’

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Recent reporting from the Phuket Gazette made the announcement of the Phuket Marine Office tabling the idea of creating temporary chartering licenses for foreign-flagged superyachts, as Thailand pushes for the province to become a “Maritime Hub for Southeast Asia.”

The newspaper in reporting the news, stated: “There will be a public hearing, with an English-language translator, to discuss what legal measures need to be taken to ensure that Phuket becomes the destination in the region for yachts and Superyachts,” said Phuket Marine chief Phuriphat Theerakulpisut. “We will be looking at which licenses can be given to foreign-flagged yachts and superyachts to allow them to charter from Phuket.”

The meeting falls in line with orders handed down by the Ministry of Transport, explained Mr Phuriphat. The meeting, expected to comprise 120 participants from the yachting industry and other relevant sectors, will be held May 11 and headed by Marine Department Director Chula Sulmanop.

In January Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul told the Phuket Gazette in an exclusive interview that changes in visa and chartering legislation were needed to secure the island’s position as the top yachting destination in the region. The minister's commitment to the changes has been backed by Thailand’s Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.