Today's event in Phuket will cover some key issues, which, if achieved, will lay a strong foundation for the country’s future yachting and leisure marine sectors. By David Robinson
The latest update to how Thailand’s marine tourism market is progressing is due to be given at the Thai Yacht Forum on December 14 at the Phuket Boat Lagoon marina. The forum precedes the second edition of the Thai Yacht Show, which is due to be held at Ao Po Grand Marina in Phuket from December 15-18.
The forum is set to cover some key issues, which, if achieved, will lay a strong foundation for the country’s future yachting and leisure marine sectors. Most important among these are the ongoing efforts to complete the superyacht charter licence arrangements that will open up the market and local cruising areas to foreign-flagged yachts. Regulations related to the licence regarding crew visas have been agreed, but VAT payments are taking time to complete.
With government representatives present, how the market is viewed by the Thai state machinery will be aired. Updates on marina developments and the huge opportunities for service areas such as yacht repair and refit are other subjects that are due to be covered. Prospects for the local market and maybe an increased demand for boats and yachts if the hoped-for marine tourism sector growth materialises may also be presented.
As to the show, it is only 10 months since the first edition was held in February and strategically it will be held around three weeks before PIMEX (the Phuket International Boat Show) and Thailand’s traditional boat event is held in early January.
For the second edition, there are around 50 exhibitors – a rise of almost 20% on the first edition – and the number of yachts present has doubled to over 40. The largest yacht in the show is the 90m (295ft) Lauren L, which is exhibited by Titan Fleet and she is the largest superyacht ever exhibited in an Asian boat show.
Following is the 60m (197ft) Paraffin built by Feadship and exhibited by Lee Marine, Thailand’s largest boat dealer and a company that is experiencing an increasing involvement in the superyacht new-build market. One of these is a Feadship and the Dutch builder is exhibiting at the show. Reflecting the company’s market position and how important it rates the Thai Yacht Show is the fact that it is exhibiting 14 yachts ranging in size from 7m-60m (23ft-197ft).
Other local national or regional companies represented are Asia Marine, Azimut Yachts Thailand, Boat Lagoon Yachting, Burgess Yachts’ regional team, East Marine, Galileo Maritime Academy, Hong She Marine, Italthai Marine Ltd, Java Yachting, Luxberth, Multihull Solutions, Northrop & Johnson Asia, Port Takola Marina and Simpson Marine.