Good news for those of you looking forward to enjoying Thailand superyacht charters, and those of you who wish to cruise aboard your own yachts there. The Thailand government is streamlining the visa-application process.
Previously, visitors wishing to obtain tourist visas, which allow staying up to 60 days, had to wait 14 working days for officials to process their application. Additionally, visa applicants needed to submit a host of documents proving their identity and intention purely to visit. While the documents included a copy of their passport page, much more was necessary. For example, applicants needed to provide images of all passport entry stamps from the last year. They also needed to submit a photo of themselves holding their passport next to their face.
Effective August 10, the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reduced the 14-day timeframe to seven working days. Additionally, the only documents needed now are a copy of your passport, another document proving your residency, a recent photo, confirmation of flights, confirmation of accommodations, and a financial statement. Since Thailand has seen an increase in international tourists, it’s striving to promote its travel opportunities further, officials say.
Notably, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working with other government agencies to speed up the process even more. The goal is to establish a system that allows quicker verifying of identification documents. There’s no time frame yet for finishing the system, though.
Regardless, the streamlined process is right in time for the upcoming season for Thailand superyacht charters and private cruisers. Guests typically arrive between October and April. The tourism increase overall in Thailand is definitely carrying over to yachting, too. According to Asia Pacific Superyachts, whose yacht agents assist and customize itineraries for visiting yachts, a growing number of international superyachts are cruising the local waters. Asia Pacific Superyachts considers Thailand the superyacht hub of Asia as well.
As for what destinations Thailand superyacht charters include, Phuket is a major attraction. It’s on the Andaman Sea side of the country, which is the western side. The opposite coast, meanwhile, is the Gulf of Thailand, home to the popular Koh Samui. Both Phuket and Koh Samui have excellent beaches and abundant in-shore activities. For example, Koh Samui has an elephant sanctuary. Additional nearby Phang Nga Bay’s tall rock-like islets are good options to visit as well, as is the Anthong National Marine Park in the Gulf of Thailand. Overall Thailand offers outstanding diving and an overall abundance of nature, along with a fascinating ancient culture and warm people.
Don’t forget dining options, either. Between fine restaurants and street food, you have lots of choices. Yet another new choice is the newly opened floating Yona Beah Club (above). Just off the shore of Phuket, it has a 72-foot-long (22-foot-long) infinity pool, where a DJ spins all day. Cabanas and a second-floor Sunset Terrace, along with a restaurant serving Thail, Japanese, and Mediterranean dishes are all onboard as well. The Yona Beach Club can accommodate up to 500 guests, plus is available for private events.
“We’re proud Thailand is the number-one country in the world for warm hospitality and food,” Capt. Charlie Dwyer of Asia Pacific Superyachts says. “Easing the visa process is a great step in further welcoming visitors.”
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