Following new legislation, foreign-flagged superyachts can now legally charter in Thailand. Official confirmation that guests can now visit the country via charter yacht was sent via Royal Decree to the Harbour Master in Phuket on Thursday 20 August 2015.
New legislation, spearheaded by the Prime Minister, is expected to help Thailand’s transformation into a superyacht hub, as the region of South East Asia make steady progress to attracting more of the charter market. The permit follows three years’ worth of lobbying by top industry figures to increase the number of superyacht charter visits to the country.
A spokesman from one of the first companies to provide superyacht charter licenses to visiting yachts, commented “The new legislation will certainly create new opportunities for superyachts around the world and bring increased revenue to the tourism and marine industry in Thailand.”
It is hoped the industry as a whole will be boosted by the ease of access to Thailand’s shores, with more superyacht owners also hoped to be attracted here by the prospect of operating charters in the area.
As previously reported, plans for visas (currently 30 days) of 12 months for superyacht crews are also in place as part of a “superyacht package” the country are working on. It is currently expected that they will be available in time by a proposed international superyacht show in Phuket in November. Thailand's Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, has said “The visa for the crew will match the permit for the yacht, which should allow the boat and crew to work effectively during their stay in Thailand.”
Outside of new laws, Thailand is additionally working on developments to physically accommodate more superyacht charters, and have announced a $150 million (£95 million) investment in the Royal Phuket Marina so it can host 250 berths, increased from 100.
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superyacht owners are also hoped to be attracted here by the prospect of operating charters in the area.