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Phuket Opinion: Making waves, making money

Phuket Opinion: Making waves, making money

PHUKET: The news from Simpson Marine this past week announcing that the first Sanlorenzo SL86 in Asia has been handed over to owners in Phuket and is now cruising around Southeast Asia marks a serious benchmark in Phuket’s marine industry.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 13 October 2019, 09:00AM

The arrival of each new superyacht using Phuket as a base for touring the region bodes well for the island's marine tourism industry. Photo: Sanlorenzo

The arrival of each new superyacht using Phuket as a base for touring the region bodes well for the island's marine tourism industry. Photo: Sanlorenzo

The superyacht will now use Singapore, Malaysia’s east coast and Phuket as major ports of call for touring the region. This opens the door for the yacht to tour not only Phang Nga Bay and the islands of the Andaman Sea, but also Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam as well as the Mergui archipelago to our north. That is what these boats can do.

To give some context to the news, while prices for such yachts are usually available only “on request”, one 2017 SL86 currently for sale in Miami – a hot bed for such yachts – is going for just under US$6 million. A 2018 model also based in Florida is going for more than US$8.6mn At those prices, that means the SL86 now using Phuket as a base is anywhere around B180mn of money-making machine moving into the neighbourhood.

Nick Stratton, Sanlorenzo Asia Sales Manager, noted, “The sale of this beautiful yacht following her very recent arrival into Asia is a testament of the growing appreciation for the Sanlorenzo brand around the region. Further new models will be delivered later this year.”

Whether or not that means more Sanlorenzos heading for Phuket we'll just have to wait and see, but only earlier this year saw a record number of 36 superyachts visiting Phuket, occupying berths at Yacht Haven Marina. That bodes well indeed for the industry. Such yachts bring many benefits for the economy generally, the tourist industry and the people employed in the wide range of support industries, noted Galileo Maritime Academy in announcing that news in March.

Phuket Sportfishing Tournament 2019

The Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous (KRSR) and the Thailand Yacht Show are also doing their part in attracting superyachts to the region.

A strong environmental argument still stands against use of superyachts, but even those concerns are starting to be addressed with nine superyacht builders, including heavyweights Feadship and Benetti, in July signing a commitment to reduce and offset superyacht carbon footprints.

While the Thai government has for years made much noise about doing more to attract superyachts to Phuket, The Phuket News has yet to confirm any great milestones achieved in that area. Hopefully, there is very good news on the horizon.

If you want larger tourism income generated per person as part of your sustainable tourism definition, this industry is it.

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BenPendejo | 13 October 2019 - 13:27:14

So what's the "opinion"? That a new boat will be the new breath of fresh air to a dwindling sector?  I would say this affects well under 1% of tourist interest.  But great, now rich Chinese can start venturing north and can start overwhelming fragile marine resources like they did here.  Yay

Kurt | 13 October 2019 - 10:26:37

Foresee Immigration headache. Super yachts based on Phuket, under Thai, Malaysian, Singapore or other flags. Sailing in- out- of Thai waters. Many different TM forms needed for clearing out and clearing in, + Customs checks on drugs and alcohol smuggling ( from duty free Langkawi)

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