TYBA President reflects on second Thailand Charter Week
Ditapong Thitadilok, President of the Thai Yachting Business Association, talks about organising the first post-Covid Thailand Charter Week, which built on the inaugural edition in 2019.
Ditapong Thitadilok, President of TYBA (Thai Yachting Business Association)
What were the major changes to this year’s Thailand Charter Week compared to the first edition three years ago?
The yachting industry has received more support from the Thai Government. Yachting has been included in the country’s strategic marine tourism plan and has been a critical mechanism for restoring the economy through tourism.
The Thai Government has officially allowed foreign superyachts to do charter business since early 2021. As a result, there has been much interest from superyachts to charter in Thai waters. The show also had a lot of interest and had three 30m-plus superyachts (click for article), which showed significant growth from 2019.
Ditapong with Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn (second right), Minister of Tourism and Sports
What was the feedback from the Government Ministers, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Phuket authorities this year?
Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, fully supported the Thailand Charter Week and the yachting industry (click for article). He has encouraged Thailand Charter Week to become bigger and better next year. Images, video and other media content from this year’s Thailand Charter Week will be used to promote Thailand’s marine tourism globally.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Phuket province have also helped establish Thailand Charter Week on the event calendar. Thailand Charter Week has become a significant event for Thailand’s marine tourism.
VIPs at the Thailand Charter Week opening ceremony
What were the best aspects of this year’s Thailand Charter Week?
Support from government and private companies increased and there was a wider of variety of businesses, not just yachting. It means the marine industry has widened and can be a part of other industry groups. The best part of this year’s edition was the cooperation between TYBA members, the Government, charter brokers and local agents.
Which parts of the Thailand Charter Week can be improved?
Announcing the event. We had limited time to prepare for this year’s Thailand Charter Week as there was still doubt about the exact plan to reopen Thailand to visitors and tourists. However, we expected to have more yachts and more international visitors. We will have more time to prepare for the 2023 edition. As organisers, we have already started a plan to make the event better.
Some potential exhibitors said they didn’t participate because all their yachts were being chartered. Do you think the Thailand Charter Week should be held at a different time?
We think this period is the best time for Thailand Charter Week. This year, some charter businesses were too busy because Thailand had just reopened fully since the Covid pandemic. We’re creating another marketing channel to allow companies and yachts that can’t attend Thailand Charter Week to communicate with visitors. Of course, all visitors can still contact the yachts, yacht management companies or central agents.