Yacht ownership among Thais on the rise
Published: Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Coinciding with the second edition of the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced its intention to promote high-end tourism in Pattaya, working closely with the marine tourism sector on Thailand’s east coast. It predicts that, with the opening of the of Asean Economic Community, tourist numbers in the area are set to increase 10 percent.
“This is the second year for the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show. We want to support the growth of marine leisure tourism in the region. As the number of yachts at Ocean Marina continues to grow, we plan to increase the number of berths again in the near future. Ocean Marina is already the largest marina in Southeast Asia and we plan to increase our capacity in line with the arrival of the AEC," said Mrs. Supatra Angkawinijwong, deputy managing director of Ocean Property, owner of the Ocean Marina. She added that Thais are buying more and more yachts. "In previous years, the ratio of yacht owners at Ocean Marina Yacht Club was about 80 percent foreigners and 20 percent Thais. Last year, we saw a significant change and Thai yacht ownership has increased to 38 percent, and we expect that trend to continue,” said Angkawinijwong.
Last year, the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show generated THB 90 million (US$2.88 million) in revenue for the marine tourism industry. Organisers are confident that this year will deliver an even bigger and better quality event. They have expanded the on-water and on-shore exhibition area to 2,600 square metres. There is strong support from exhibitors in the marine tourism and lifestyle business sectors.
Thailand is a popular destination for marine tourists with many chartering yachts and enjoying Thailand’s cruising grounds and those of neighbouring countries. Thailand has a well-developed marine infrastructure with international-standard marinas that can cater to all-sized yachts with quality yacht maintenance services and skilled craftsmen. Yacht brokers predict that the number of yachts visiting Thailand will increase dramatically by over 30 percent or some 2,100 yachts, by 2016.
The Gulf of Thailand’s popularity continues to grow with approximately 8.5 million international tourists each year visiting the three leading tourist destinations of Pattaya, Hua Hin and Koh Samui. This is expected to grow 10 percent year-on-year, largely due to the high growth potential of neighbouring countries such Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and China.
Over 100 exhibitors from marine, marine tourism and the leisure and lifestyle business sectors, from both Thailand and overseas, are expected to attend together with some 3,000 are visitors. There is a packed program of onshore and on-water activities and entertainment planned, including free sailing trials, free kayak trials, lucky draws, cocktail parties, dragon boat races and a marina-side beer garden and festival together with a live band. The show runs from November 22 to 24, 2013, at the Ocean Marina in Pattaya.