Cruise Liner and Super Yacht Port Approved for Koh Samui
Building the port, relaxing visa regulations and tax incentives aim to attract lucrative cruise liners and superyachts.
Thai Marine Department officials announced this week that the Koh Samui port development project would go ahead after being considered more favourable than Krabi, in the Andaman Sea.
After extensive studies, Koh Samui was selected and the Thai government offered support from the 15 million baht that has been earmarked to position Thailand as the center of marinas in ASEAN countries. the remainder coming from investment from private organizations.
Princess Cruise Lines, who have been visiting Koh Samui for several years now, typically anchor off the west coast of Koh Samui and transfer to Nathon via smaller boats as the waters are not deep enough to handle such large vessels.
Approximately 100 000 cruise liner tourists arrive in Thailand every year. IVL predicts a sharp increase in these numbers when the port opens on Koh Samui as well as a big increase in the number of superyachts who can then choose to spend time and money on the island.
The development of the port on Koh Samui for cruise liners also benefits superyachts. “We have terrific news for superyachts considering a journey to Koh Samui”, notes Captain Charlie Dwyer of Asia Pacific Superyachts who has been dealing arriving superyachts to Koh Samui for the past 15 years. “I’m thrilled to alert owners and captains of new and positive government plans for a new marina and positive changes in Thai regulations in support of welcoming superyachts.”
Coupled with recent upgrades to Koh Samui airport and the beautification of the island though the placement of power and telecommunication wires underground, these developments in infrastructure serve as a reminder that Thai government officials are committed to smart development.
Seeking to attract captains, crews and passengers; changes in visa regulations to allow longer stays and the creation of a more favourable tax structure for superyachts will surely be appealing to those who wish to escape from the cold of the Mediterranean winters. The year round tropical weather of Koh Samui would also serve as an alternative to the Caribbean ports often frequented by gorgeous high end boats.
In a recent interview Thailand Marine Department’s director-general, Chula Sookmanop stated: ”The government is loosening boat regulations to make it easier for yacht and superyacht owners to dock in Thai waters.” “Owners will be allowed to stay longer in Thailand and will become eligible to receive some tax incentives.” Superyachts can also expect to greatly benefit from new VAT and crew regulations, providing significant savings for superyacht owners and captains.