New Marina Project Sees Chon Buri As Luxury Vessels Host

The Transport Ministry unveiled plans to convert Sattahip district’s Bang Sare tambon into a new harbor for luxury vessels as Thailand’s government strives to increase tourism-related revenue.

Permanent Secretary for Transport Chayathan Promsorn announced the move yesterday. He explained that the Marine Department would first conduct a feasibility study to identify environmental issues, look at possible locations for the marina and analyze its economic benefits before approving and developing the project.

The study has three phases, including a 120-day stage to collect valuable information to choose the project’s location, the harbor’s design, and the beach restoration. It will also encompass issues related to coastal erosion.

The second phase, expected to start within 30 days after the first one or in August, will look at the harbor’s engineering advantages and economic benefits to the district. It will also consider environmental concerns and locals’ opinions.

For the final phase, the Marine Department has planned to evaluate the project’s environmental impact and work on the beach replenishment plans.

According to Mr. Chayathan, turning Bang Sare into a marina is in line with Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob’s goal of improving the kingdom’s maritime and logistics system.

Mr. Saksayam’s policy intends to help boost the government’s efforts to make Thailand a transportation and logistics hub in the Southeast Asian region and increase its competitiveness.

However, the minister insisted that three aspects must be taken into account during the project’s initial phases: local people’s input, impact on locals’ livelihoods, and the environment.

Marine Department’s latest figures show that the country has 13 tourist ports that can be categorized as marinas, including eight situated in the Andaman Sea. There are also four in the Eastern region and one in the Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

Thai authorities have included marina and cruise liner port projects on their tourism development list. Moreover, the Marine Department has started working with state agencies to define better boating regulations and boost the marine industry.

The government believes that attracting tourists traveling on yachts, known to have high purchasing power, can boost tourism and increase the sector’s revenue in the east.

Therefore, the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning has been ordered to collect information on foreign yachts entering Thailand’s waters for further analysis.