Thailand considers 90 day visas for visiting yacht crew
More superyachts may head to Thailand soon, as extending crew visas from 30 days to 90 days is just one of the possibilities Thailand is considering to encourage more superyacht tourism to the country.
Currently, superyacht crew are only issued a 30 day visa for Thailand, and this visa cannot be extended. This deters luxury yachts from using Phuket and Thailand as their base, so a government task force is proposing a 90 day visa for visiting yacht crew to encourage yachts to visit and charter in the region.
The Prime Minister of Thailand, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, has voiced his support for this measure, although it is only under consideration at this time and has not passed into law. The discussions by the Thai government are part of a wider bid to encourage more tourism to Thailand.
There is also talk of a port expansion and yard facility that can cater for superyachts at the Deep Sea Port at Ao Makham Harbour in Phuket, as well as the possibility of changing regulations to allow longer concessions to operate ports.
Thailand is just one of the countries looking to capitalise on the yacht tourism market. New Zealand recently changed to more favourable entry procedures for charter yachts and their crews (see our previous article on this here). This could mean good news for local economies, as economic research on the impact of superyachts in New Zealand have shown that long term yacht crew spend more money there than the yacht’s owners or guests.