Thailand is expecting the resumption of turnaround visits by international cruise liners next year, after a few seasons of absence due to political instability in the country.
According to Jumpol Chadavadh, managing director of Princess Cruises’ local ground handler, Regale International Travel, the cruise liner has scheduled its Diamond Princess for turnarounds in Thailand in October and November next year. The other cruise liners are also intending to make turnarounds in Thailand.
“Bangkok is the hub due to direct air access with all geographic regions,” said Jumpol, adding that over the past few years, international cruise liners were forced to re-route their turnaround visits to neighboring countries, due to Bangkok’s airport closure in end-2008 and political turmoil last May.
However, cruise liners either retained or increased their callings at Thai ports, which explained the double-digit growth in the number of cruise passengers handled by Regale during this year and last.
Cruise turnaround visits are significant, as each consists of both a pre- and post-passenger boarding of one- to three-nights stay in the country. The majority of clients for turnaround cruises in Thailand are from Europe, Australia and the US.