Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: With Phuket’s Deep Sea Port being targeted for a huge upgrade, the island has great untapped potential in the global cruise ship industry – not just as a port of call but also as a port to call home.

(See page 5, current issue of the Phuket Gazette. Digital subscribers click here to download the full newspaper.)

Mention the words “cruise ship” and “Phuket”, and most readers will conjure up memories of the ugly blockading of our port by locally based taxi drivers, but its current location is the only logical place for such a facility on the island.

Many cruise ship operators in the region currently drop anchor off Patong, where a floating pier is moored in the high season, the only time weather permits. This is a pity because cruise ship tourism is potentially a lucrative year-round proposition for Phuket, which has a virtually unbeatable array of onshore activities to offer visitors.

Unfortunately, the Deep Sea Port is too far from Patong, Phuket Town or other popular destinations to make such destinations very attractive to cruise ship passengers, who typically enjoy only a morning, an afternoon or at best a day here. As such, unless the current transport situation can be vastly improved, the port's appeal will largely remain limited to all but military vessels and cargo ships.

Upgrading the facilities at the port to accommodate Thai-flagged vessels is one concept than has until now been given little or no attention in the local press. As a major regional port, Phuket already has most of the infrastructure needed, including a petrochemical tank farm and container facility to provision even the largest seagoing vessels. There is also a great deal of public land available for expansion.

Another area of potential interest might be casino gambling, which though illegal in Thailand and its territorial waters, is common aboard cruise ships worldwide, allowing punters to enjoy games of chance while in international waters.

Many arguments have been put forward asserting that the illegality of gambling in Thailand not only costs the nation untold billions in lost revenue to casinos set up along its borders, but also perpetuates an underground industry in the country that fuels state-sector corruption while undermining the democratic process by financing vote-buying. Estimates by the The National Economic and Social Advisory Council have put the loss as high as 800 billion baht annually.

Establishment in Phuket of “casino cruises” of the type already popular in many other parts of the globe would not only be a logical first step toward development of Phuket as a regional hub for the cruise ship industry, but would also serve as a boon to the economy.

It would also provide an elegant solution to the discomfort suffered by our legislators when they contemplate legalized gambling on shore.
– Phuket Gazette

1

Thailand would do itself a favor by legalizing gambling in authorized Casinos placed in the Major City centers and tourist spots. Would be a good tax revenue source. Both Singapore and Macao and are doing well.

Posted by Bjarne December 25, 2011 12:23:41PM

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3

I did say "out of Singapore". Singapore is becoming one of the great home ports in the world due to its infrastructure. Any home port needs both a home market and "lift" (airport capacity) and Phuket is a minnow by comparison. The Singapore cruise terminal is amazing, connected to the largest mall, Sentosa, everything. For anyone who wants a legal casino, Phuket offers more than 6 daily flights to Singapore.

Posted by BoughtMyPoints December 25, 2011 02:24:52PM

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4

Thailand would do itself a favor by legalizing gambling in authorized Casinos placed in the Major City centers and tourist spots. Would be a good tax revenue source. Both Singapore and Macao and are doing well.

Posted by Bjarne

You're having a larf? Of course, Phuket needs a decent wharf able to handle the mega cruise ships. For an example, see Langkawi, the "next" port of call in Malaysia. Meanwhile, contrary to the information printed, cruise ships tend to anchor off Patong overnight to allow 2 days' stay in Phuket. It is only the short 3, 4 or 5 day cruises out of Singapore that visit Phuket for a short(er) stay. To be continued...

Posted by BoughtMyPoints December 25, 2011 03:50:34PM

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5

I did say "out of Singapore". Singapore is becoming one of the great home ports in the world due to its infrastructure. Any home port needs both a home market and "lift" (airport capacity) and Phuket is a minnow by comparison. The Singapore cruise terminal is amazing, connected to the largest mall, Sentosa, everything. For anyone who wants a legal casino, Phuket offers more than 6 daily flights to Singapore.

Posted by BoughtMyPoints

I've been to Phuket 3 times on a cruise ship and we never stayed more than a day. How long have you been with the Singapore Tourist Association?

Posted by Edmund Charles December 25, 2011 03:55:44PM

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6

Thailand would do itself a favor by legalizing gambling in authorized Casinos placed in the Major City centers and tourist spots. Would be a good tax revenue source. Both Singapore and Macao and are doing well.

Posted by Bjarne

You're having a larf? Of course, Phuket needs a decent wharf able to handle the mega cruise ships. For an example, see Langkawi, the "next" port of call in Malaysia. Meanwhile, contrary to the information printed, cruise ships tend to anchor off Patong overnight to allow 2 days' stay in Phuket. It is only the short 3, 4 or 5 day cruises out of Singapore that visit Phuket for a short(er) stay. To be continued...

Posted by BoughtMyPoints

Rubbish! I have visited Phuket 8 times on cruise ships, varying from 1 week to 6 week cruises, and only stayed here for less than 1 day each time. Only the QE2 cruise anchored in Patong Bay. The rest were at the Deep Sea Port.

Posted by ga December 25, 2011 04:29:08PM

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7

Thailand would do itself a favor by legalizing gambling in authorized Casinos placed in the Major City centers and tourist spots. Would be a good tax revenue source. Both Singapore and Macao and are doing well.

Posted by Bjarne

You're having a larf? Of course, Phuket needs a decent wharf able to handle the mega cruise ships. For an example, see Langkawi, the "next" port of call in Malaysia. Meanwhile, contrary to the information printed, cruise ships tend to anchor off Patong overnight to allow 2 days' stay in Phuket. It is only the short 3, 4 or 5 day cruises out of Singapore that visit Phuket for a short(er) stay. To be continued...

Posted by BoughtMyPoints

Rubbish! I have visited Phuket 8 times on cruise ships, varying from 1 week to 6 week cruises, and only stayed here for less than 1 day each time. Only the QE2 cruise anchored in Patong Bay. The rest were at the Deep Sea Port.

Posted by ga

Maybe it's a Costa Cruises thang.... I cruised to Phuket in April 2011 and we anchored off Patong for an overnight. A different Costa ship has just called in on Phuket twice in the past 3 weeks, each time overnighting. Maybe they trust their crews more. Anyone who ends up in the Deep Sea Port has my sympathy! Edmond Charles: Why the snarky remark? I choose to live in Phuket but enjoy SIN as a transit point.

Posted by BoughtMyPoints December 25, 2011 07:25:25PM

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11

Until Phuket resolves its very basic problems for tourists (tuk-tuks, dirty beaches, double pricing) it will never be a true worldwide destination.

There are very many destinations that truly appreciate and cater to tourists, so it is very easy for them to choose another spot to spend their money.

Posted by Jim from America December 26, 2011 12:03:54PM

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12

Thailand would do itself a favor by legalizing gambling in authorized Casinos placed in the Major City centers and tourist spots. Would be a good tax revenue source. Both Singapore and Macao and are doing well.

Posted by Bjarne

You're having a larf? Of course, Phuket needs a decent wharf able to handle the mega cruise ships. For an example, see Langkawi, the "next" port of call in Malaysia. Meanwhile, contrary to the information printed, cruise ships tend to anchor off Patong overnight to allow 2 days' stay in Phuket. It is only the short 3, 4 or 5 day cruises out of Singapore that visit Phuket for a short(er) stay. To be continued...

Posted by BoughtMyPoints

Rubbish! I have visited Phuket 8 times on cruise ships, varying from 1 week to 6 week cruises, and only stayed here for less than 1 day each time. Only the QE2 cruise anchored in Patong Bay. The rest were at the Deep Sea Port.

Posted by ga

So that makes you an expert on Phuket does it?

I am guessing the other 7 cruises were during what we locals refer to as the monsoon... that's the 6 months or so that all calling cruise ships have to use the safe all weather Deep Sea Port located on the Leeward (sheltered for the uninitiated) side of the island as it is unsafe to anchor off Patong Bay....

So you have learned something haven't you?

Posted by Andy December 26, 2011 01:45:01PM

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13

Until Phuket resolves its very basic problems for tourists (tuk-tuks, dirty beaches, double pricing) it will never be a true worldwide destination.

There are very many destinations that truly appreciate and cater to tourists, so it is very easy for them to choose another spot to spend their money.

Posted by Jim from America

With you on this, Jim. The tuk-tuk and taxi community do not deserve the income from cruise liners. Cruise ship operators should stop coming to Phuket until someone can sort out these operators once and for all.

Posted by Sandy Shores December 27, 2011 04:36:04PM

Reply

0    0

13

Until Phuket resolves its very basic problems for tourists (tuk-tuks, dirty beaches, double pricing) it will never be a true worldwide destination.

There are very many destinations that truly appreciate and cater to tourists, so it is very easy for them to choose another spot to spend their money.

Posted by Jim from America

With you on this, Jim. The tuk-tuk and taxi community do not deserve the income from cruise liners. Cruise ship operators should stop coming to Phuket until someone can sort out these operators once and for all.

Posted by Sandy Shores December 27, 2011 04:36:04PM

Reply

0    0

12

Thailand would do itself a favor by legalizing gambling in authorized Casinos placed in the Major City centers and tourist spots. Would be a good tax revenue source. Both Singapore and Macao and are doing well.

Posted by Bjarne

You're having a larf? Of course, Phuket needs a decent wharf able to handle the mega cruise ships. For an example, see Langkawi, the "next" port of call in Malaysia. Meanwhile, contrary to the information printed, cruise ships tend to anchor off Patong overnight to allow 2 days' stay in Phuket. It is only the short 3, 4 or 5 day cruises out of Singapore that visit Phuket for a short(er) stay. To be continued...

Posted by BoughtMyPoints

Rubbish! I have visited Phuket 8 times on cruise ships, varying from 1 week to 6 week cruises, and only stayed here for less than 1 day each time. Only the QE2 cruise anchored in Patong Bay. The rest were at the Deep Sea Port.

Posted by ga

So that makes you an expert on Phuket does it?

I am guessing the other 7 cruises were during what we locals refer to as the monsoon... that's the 6 months or so that all calling cruise ships have to use the safe all weather Deep Sea Port located on the Leeward (sheltered for the uninitiated) side of the island as it is unsafe to anchor off Patong Bay....

So you have learned something haven't you?

Posted by Andy December 26, 2011 01:45:01PM

Reply

0    0

11

Until Phuket resolves its very basic problems for tourists (tuk-tuks, dirty beaches, double pricing) it will never be a true worldwide destination.

There are very many destinations that truly appreciate and cater to tourists, so it is very easy for them to choose another spot to spend their money.

Posted by Jim from America December 26, 2011 12:03:54PM

Reply

0    0

7

Thailand would do itself a favor by legalizing gambling in authorized Casinos placed in the Major City centers and tourist spots. Would be a good tax revenue source. Both Singapore and Macao and are doing well.

Posted by Bjarne

You're having a larf? Of course, Phuket needs a decent wharf able to handle the mega cruise ships. For an example, see Langkawi, the "next" port of call in Malaysia. Meanwhile, contrary to the information printed, cruise ships tend to anchor off Patong overnight to allow 2 days' stay in Phuket. It is only the short 3, 4 or 5 day cruises out of Singapore that visit Phuket for a short(er) stay. To be continued...

Posted by BoughtMyPoints

Rubbish! I have visited Phuket 8 times on cruise ships, varying from 1 week to 6 week cruises, and only stayed here for less than 1 day each time. Only the QE2 cruise anchored in Patong Bay. The rest were at the Deep Sea Port.

Posted by ga

Maybe it's a Costa Cruises thang.... I cruised to Phuket in April 2011 and we anchored off Patong for an overnight. A different Costa ship has just called in on Phuket twice in the past 3 weeks, each time overnighting. Maybe they trust their crews more. Anyone who ends up in the Deep Sea Port has my sympathy! Edmond Charles: Why the snarky remark? I choose to live in Phuket but enjoy SIN as a transit point.

Posted by BoughtMyPoints December 25, 2011 07:25:25PM

Reply

0    0

6

Thailand would do itself a favor by legalizing gambling in authorized Casinos placed in the Major City centers and tourist spots. Would be a good tax revenue source. Both Singapore and Macao and are doing well.

Posted by Bjarne

You're having a larf? Of course, Phuket needs a decent wharf able to handle the mega cruise ships. For an example, see Langkawi, the "next" port of call in Malaysia. Meanwhile, contrary to the information printed, cruise ships tend to anchor off Patong overnight to allow 2 days' stay in Phuket. It is only the short 3, 4 or 5 day cruises out of Singapore that visit Phuket for a short(er) stay. To be continued...

Posted by BoughtMyPoints

Rubbish! I have visited Phuket 8 times on cruise ships, varying from 1 week to 6 week cruises, and only stayed here for less than 1 day each time. Only the QE2 cruise anchored in Patong Bay. The rest were at the Deep Sea Port.

Posted by ga December 25, 2011 04:29:08PM

Reply

0    0

5

I did say "out of Singapore". Singapore is becoming one of the great home ports in the world due to its infrastructure. Any home port needs both a home market and "lift" (airport capacity) and Phuket is a minnow by comparison. The Singapore cruise terminal is amazing, connected to the largest mall, Sentosa, everything. For anyone who wants a legal casino, Phuket offers more than 6 daily flights to Singapore.

Posted by BoughtMyPoints

I've been to Phuket 3 times on a cruise ship and we never stayed more than a day. How long have you been with the Singapore Tourist Association?

Posted by Edmund Charles December 25, 2011 03:55:44PM

Reply

0    0

4

Thailand would do itself a favor by legalizing gambling in authorized Casinos placed in the Major City centers and tourist spots. Would be a good tax revenue source. Both Singapore and Macao and are doing well.

Posted by Bjarne

You're having a larf? Of course, Phuket needs a decent wharf able to handle the mega cruise ships. For an example, see Langkawi, the "next" port of call in Malaysia. Meanwhile, contrary to the information printed, cruise ships tend to anchor off Patong overnight to allow 2 days' stay in Phuket. It is only the short 3, 4 or 5 day cruises out of Singapore that visit Phuket for a short(er) stay. To be continued...

Posted by BoughtMyPoints December 25, 2011 03:50:34PM

Reply

0    0

3

I did say "out of Singapore". Singapore is becoming one of the great home ports in the world due to its infrastructure. Any home port needs both a home market and "lift" (airport capacity) and Phuket is a minnow by comparison. The Singapore cruise terminal is amazing, connected to the largest mall, Sentosa, everything. For anyone who wants a legal casino, Phuket offers more than 6 daily flights to Singapore.

Posted by BoughtMyPoints December 25, 2011 02:24:52PM

Reply

0    0

1

Thailand would do itself a favor by legalizing gambling in authorized Casinos placed in the Major City centers and tourist spots. Would be a good tax revenue source. Both Singapore and Macao and are doing well.

Posted by Bjarne December 25, 2011 12:23:41PM

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0    0

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