Pattaya to house first cruise terminal in the Gulf of Thailand
The Marine Department has selected Pattaya as the site for constructing the first cruise terminal in Thailand, aimed at bolstering the nation’s marine tourism capacity. The project will be proposed to the incoming government.
Ekkarat Khantharo, Director of the regional Marine Department office in Pattaya, spoke of progress in developing cruise ports and terminals in Thailand. He disclosed that the Marine Department has a policy to construct such ports on the Gulf coast as well as the Andaman coast.
For the Gulf of Thailand coast, suitable areas that can accommodate large cruise vessels and ships with draughts of 12 meters were vetted. The department deemed that for the Eastern Region, Pattaya was the most appropriate location for housing a cruise terminal. After a public referendum and consultation with advisor firms over the economics, physical attributes, and environmental impacts associated with a cruise terminal, Bali Hai Cape was selected as the site for the project.
Ekkarat said the cruise terminal will stretch about 900 meters from the cape into the sea. 6-7 billion baht of budget is expected to be required for its construction. The investment will be in the form of a public-private partnership.
Referendums on the project have been held at the local level as well as the provincial level. Input and suggestions from stakeholders such as those in the fishing industry, the tourism industry, and the public sector have already been produced.
Ekkarat added that if realized, the cruise terminal will become the first ever site in Thailand that can accommodate very large cruise ships.The director said that with the completion of public hearings, the consultancy company will now produce a summary of the economic, environmental, and other impacts of the project. This report will be presented to the Ministry of Justice so it can seek Cabinet consideration on the project.
Ekkarat said he was hoping the incoming government would endorse the project.