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Marine department pushing for cruise ship terminals in Phuket, Pattaya, Samui

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Officials at Thailand’s Marine Department have put forward a proposal to develop dedicated cruise ship terminals in Phuket, Pattaya and on Koh Samui. The Bangkok Post reports that the department says the terminals would enable these key destinations to tap into a fast-growing tourism market.

Department figures show that in pre-pandemic times, Thailand was one of the most popular stops on cruise liner routes through the region. Figures from 2018 show that 219 cruise ships stopped in Phuket, 149 in Bangkok’s Port and Laem Chabang in Chon Buri, and 89 at Koh Samui.

Officials believe that having dedicated cruise terminals in each of these areas would attract yet more ships, generating more revenue for local economies. The data shows that the average cruise ship passenger spends more than passengers arriving by air or overland. Cruise ship passengers spend an average of 7,000 baht a day in Bangkok and Pattaya, 6,400 baht a day in Phuket, and 4,200 baht a day on Koh Samui.

With dedicated cruise terminals, officials hope to attract more high-spending visitors from places such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

There is currently a proposal on the table to construct a cruise terminal in Pattaya that could handle 1,500 passengers when used as a home port and double that number when used as a port-of-call. Officials say this option would be more convenient for passengers wishing to visit Pattaya, who currently have to disembark at container ports at Bangkok or Laem Chabang.

The department says the new cruise terminals would be built through public-private partnerships. Once building work gets underway, officials say the 3 ports could open in 2028, which would be around 900 days from the start of construction. However, the plan will first require the approval of Thailand’s new government.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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