Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket office director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri confirmed that four Indonesian nationals arrived from Singapore on the private yacht ‘The Maggie’, which dropped anchor at Ao Por on Tuesday (Mar 8).
The four were the first to enter Phuket under new Test & Go measures that came into effect on Mar 1, she said.
In accordance with the revised measures for arriving by sea, the four were fully vaccinated and were required to be tested by RT-PCR on arrival. The four were required to remain aboard the yacht until their results were released.
Ms Nanthasiri said the easing of the entry measures would be good for stimulating tourism to Phuket.
“Tourists who prefer to travel by yachts and cruise ships are another group of tourists with high spending potential,” she said.
“This group will travel mainly from European and Mediterranean countries. They may travel to Phuket by plane then charter a boat to travel in Phuket and nearby waters, and then come back to Phuket to travel home.
“Others might arrive on a boat from a neighbouring country to relax on Phuket,” she added.
“There are many boats requesting to travel to Phuket under Test & Go,” Ms Nanthasiri said.
In 2021, 91 boats with a total of 323 people on board arrived in Phuket. In January-February this year, 27 yachts arrived with 92 passengers, she noted.
“Phuket is ready to welcome tourists on yachts. This includes ports that can accommodate boats of various sizes, facilities for boat repairs as well as tour excursions, accommodation, spas and shopping, all of which cater very well to the lifestyle of this group of tourists,” Ms Nanthasiri said.
Phuket has one deep seat port for large vessels as well as 30 government and privately operated piers to welcome arriving yachts, she said.
Ms Nanthasiri noted that the return of tourists arriving by sea was much welcomed.
“It is another tourism business that has been suffering heavily during the COVID-19 epidemic for more than two years,” she said.