Thailand hopes to soon become a stop for high-end cruise vessels and is rushing to set up the needed infrastructure to make that happen.
Tanasak Patimapragorn, Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister, referenced a research by government agencies that the country should develop facilities in order to attract cruise ships as they bring high-spending travellers.
Cruisers that visited Thailand in 2015 and 2016 called Samui Island and Laem Chabang their preferred ports.
Another step the country may take to attract luxury voyages is to work together with nearby countries, create new routes for boats and develop a sector of Thais which may be qualified to work on the boats or lead day trips to Thailand. Now Filipinos, who boast good English language skills, land the majority of cruise jobs in Asia.
The government is part way through the development plan to promote cruises for the ports in Phang Nga, Phuket, and Koh Samui. The projects should be completed in 2017 and are expected to produce immediate uptick in cruisers, but not necessarily from luxury sector.