The Royal Thai Navy and Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration have joined to support a tourism-driving yacht route between Pattaya and Hua Hin.
Navy Capt. Wasin Sasrida, Cmdr. Premsak Dumtub, Capt. Narong Kanpai and consultant Wanwalit Tarnthaitong spoke on the prospects for the route at a May 30 DASTA seminar at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club.
DASTA recently contracted with Vintel Consulting Co. to advance a sailboat and yacht tourism route-development and promotion project. The project aims not to increase the number of tourists, but instead improve the quality of tourist and their destinations.
DASTA hopes to increase the length of time tourists spend in Thailand, boost average daily spending, and develop good connections between different tourist groups.
Wanwalit said the Naval Region 1 will assist in not only mapping the route from Ocean Marina to Pattaya Bay’s Koh Pai to Hua Hin, but also obtain authorization for boats to communicate with the military’s security system to facilitate effective assistance in case of a maritime emergency.
However, not all nautical tourism operators agreed with the proposal. This is due to the fact that the project doesn’t guarantee safety, especially for sailboats that cannot surf in the high waves. Furthermore, if sailboats encountered high waves over 2-3 meters, passengers could be harmed. Operators also urged DASTA to evaluate pricing and costs, as well as establishing docks in places like Koh Pai, Koh Larn and Hua Hin, as these areas lack proper docks.
The project has yet to come up with a fare, as the operators are still worried about the safety of the passengers. This issue will be discussed again in the future.
DASTA reassured that the initiative will be part of the Tourism Promotion Project that promotes new forms of tourism in accordance with the tourists’ interests, in addition to the environmentally-friendly and sustainable tourism.