Department pushes ahead with plans to create dedicated cruise terminals in major destinations

Department pushes ahead with plans to create dedicated cruise terminals in major destinations

A source at the Marine Department said the department is pushing for the development of dedicated cruise terminals in Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya to tap into the fast-growing industry.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Thailand was one of the most popular stops for cruise ships passing through the region, according to the ministry. In 2018, a total of 219 cruise ships called at Phuket, followed by the ports of Bangkok and Laem Chabang in Chonburi province (149), and Koh Samui (89).

The dedicated cruise ship terminal will attract more ships to call in Thailand, which will generate more revenue for the local economy as cruise ship passengers spend an average of about 7,000 baht more than tourists arriving by air or land Bangkok, sources said And Pattaya 6,400 baht per day, Phuket 6,400 baht per day, Koh Samui around 4,200 baht per day.

In order to attract more high-spending tourists, the Maritime Safety Administration has spent a total of 156.15 million baht between 2019 and 2023 to study the feasibility of opening dedicated cruise terminals at the above-mentioned locations.

The ministry hopes the presence of the cruise terminal will attract more high-spending tourists from wealthy ports such as Hong Kong and Singapore to stop by and stay in Thailand, the sources said.

For example, the ministry is planning to build a cruise terminal in Pattaya that can accommodate 1,500 passengers as a home port and double that as a port of call.

Passengers will find it more convenient to have a dedicated stop in Pattaya, as currently, those who want to visit the resort city must disembark at Bangkok or Laem Chabang ports, which are actually container terminals.

Each port will be built according to the public-private partnership model.

However, he said the plan still needed to be approved by the new government. The department expects the three ports to open in 2028, about 900 days after construction began.

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