Coinciding with the launch of the second Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will initiate a strategy to promote high-end tourism in Pattaya by working closely with the marine tourism sector on Thailand’s east coast. It also expects that, in line with the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), tourism numbers will increase by 10%.
Supatra Angkawinijwong, deputy managing director of Ocean Property, commented: “This is the second year for the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show. We wish to support the growth of marine leisure tourism in the region and as the number of yachts at Ocean Marina continues to increase, we plan to expand the number of berths again in the near future. Ocean Marina is already the largest marina in South East Asia and we plan to increase our capacity in line with the arrival of the AEC.
“In previous years, the ratio of yacht owners at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club was 80% foreigners and 20% Thai. However, last year, we saw a significant change and Thai yacht ownership has increased from 20% to 38%. This is a clear indicator that more Thais are enjoying the marine lifestyle and we expect that trend to continue.”
In 2012 the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show generated 90 million Baht in revenue for the marine tourism industry. It has expanded the on-water and onshore exhibition area to a total of 2,600 sq.m., and have strong support from exhibitors in marine tourism and lifestyle business sectors including leading yacht brands, super bikes, super cars, luxury property and many more.
Ms. Wilaiwan Thawitsri, TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business, said: “Thailand is a popular destination for marine tourists with many chartering yachts, enjoying cruising grounds in Thailand and neighbouring countries. Thailand has a well-developed marine infrastructure with international-standard marinas that can cater for all sizes of yachts, quality yacht maintenance services and skilled craftsmen, and combined marine leisure tourism generates considerable revenue for the country.”
Pattaya has become a top marine tourism destination in Thailand, in large part due to the presence of the world-class Ocean Marina Yacht Club. According to information from the TAT, yacht brokers anticipate that the number of yachts visiting Thailand will increase dramatically by at least 31.25% to approximately 2,100 yachts by 2016.
In the overall tourism and hospitality industry, the TAT has identified marine tourism as a high-end segment, with marine tourists spending more than regular tourists, staying in five-star resorts and dining in upscale restaurants. They choose to spend on high-end products including fashion, jewelry and accessories, and in general, stay in Thailand for longer periods.
According to the TAT, Thailand welcomes 110 Superyachts each year and these are the highest tourism spenders. TAT forecasts that by 2016, a total of 190 Superyachts will visit Thailand annually, representing a growth of 72.72%, and will generate significant income for Thailand’s marine industry.
The Gulf of Thailand’s popularity continues to grow with approximately 8.5 million international tourists per year visiting the three leading tourism destinations of Pattaya, Hua Hin and Ko Samui. This is expected to grow 10% year-on-year, in particular due to the high growth potential of neighbouring countries; such as, Myanmar, Lao PDR., Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and China.
The 2013 Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show will take place from November 22 to 24 at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club. There will be over 100 exhibitors from marine, marine tourism and the leisure and lifestyle business sectors, from Thailand and overseas.
For visitors, of which approximately 3,000 are expected, there is a packed programme of onshore and on-water activities and entertainment planned, including free sailing trials, free kayak trials, lucky draws, cocktail parties, Dragon Boat Races, and a marina-side beer garden and festival with live band.