Thailand’s Tourism Cruise Industry In State of Flux
Pre-pandemic, Thailand’s cruise industry was on a growth trajectory.
Looking at Phuket, in 2018 the Treasury Department awarded a 30-year lease concession for the redevelopment of the Deep Sea Port in Ao Makham. Part of the plan was a new cruise terminal and expanded facilities for international cruise passengers.
Historically the existing facility catered to a reported 200,000 to 300,000 passengers a year and talks were being held with Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises on catering to more arrivals.
The concession to Phuket Deep Sea Port Company included a new master plan, CLICK to view details. To date, the project timeline is delayed.
Making news last week, was a Thai government plan to develop a cruise ship facility in the southern end of Koh Samui at Laem Hin Khom, under a private-public partnership.
This all comes as Asia’s cruise industry is in a state of disarray, with Genting Hong Kong becoming insolvent and now embroiled in legal cases across the globe. Caught up in the financial crisis is Dream Cruises, Crystal Cruises, and Star Cruises, with the latter being a familiar face in Phuket.
Singapore is the most active cruise port in Asia and longer-term the sector is expected to see consolidation from other groups who want to have a presence in Asia, but in the short to medium term, Thailand’s cruise ambitions might be better off looking at long term versus short term recovery and growth.