There are plans to upgrade Phuket’s Chalong Pier, making it the island’s fourth “smart” pier, alongside Ao Po, to the north, Panwa Pier, on the east coast, and Rassada Pier in Phuket Town. At the time it was opened, Ao Po became Thailand’s first smart pier.
The Phuket regional marine office has confirmed that the privately-run Chalong Pier will become the fourth “smart” pier in the province, helping to improve visitor experiences. Digital solutions offered at smart piers aim to improve tourism service standards and boost tourist confidence.
Officer director Nachapong Pranit says marine authorities will work with relevant agencies on the project, including the Digital Economy Promotion Agency. The cost of the upgrade project is expected to be around 60 million baht. He adds that his office will also cooperate with the operators of piers run by state agencies and other privately-run piers in order to improve services and safety.
The Bangkok Post reports that Phuket currently has 18 piers and 5 marinas, serving 40,000 passengers a day in high season and around 20,000 during the rest of the year.
According to Nachapong, a number of business operators have expressed interest in developing new marinas at Ao Makham, Ao Kung and the east side of Mai Khao, with proposals currently being reviewed. In addition, business operators have expressed support for a proposed cruise terminal.
The Phuket Marine Office and local maritime tourism industry recently held a workshop for around 100 boat service operators and crew, in order to prepare them for the upcoming high season. They are being urged to review navigation rules and operating standards, the standard of communication tools and safety gear, and to strictly adhere to bad weather warnings.
In addition, marine officials in Phuket, Krabi, and Phang Nga have compiled operating standards around boat safety, including the need for tour boats to notify the relevant maritime traffic and safety centre ahead of each trip.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post