The Call of the Andaman Sea News Feed

Cape Panwa Phuket Yachting Grand Prix

As well as being one of Asia’s top tourist attractions, Phuket is also becoming increasingly popular with yachting enthusiasts from around the world.

The island recently hosted the award-winning Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, an event that kicks off the this season’s Asian Yachting Grand Prix, a series of the 12 best regattas in Asia.

“The quality of the fleet was arguably the best ever and what is particularly encouraging this year is the number of new boats from around Asia taking part,” said Byron Jones, managing director of Media Business Services, the company that organises the event.

“Crew came from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines regionally, as well as a strong showing from Thailand – and also from as far afield as the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand,” he added.

Many visitors arrived to the island for the event, which generated significant revenue from travel, accommodation, dining and entertainment. Marine tourism has been identified as  a key growth sector in Thailand’s tourism industry, and is promoted internationally by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

''Phuket Raceweek is at the core of promoting Thailand's marine tourism and continues to help build Phuket's global reputation as a yachting hub, as well as delivering an economic return to the Island,'' said Jones.

Another major event on Phuket’s sailing calendar is the King’s Cup Regatta, which takes place every December to commemorate the birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand. As well as being a regal event, the regatta also attracts yachties from across the globe and in 2006, it was named “Yachting Event of the Year” at the Christofle Asia Boating Awards.

However, the azure waters of the Andaman Sea not only attract professional sailors. Phuket is fast becoming the boating hub for Southeast Asia, with four full service marinas serving as the perfect mooring for visitors that want to explore the plethora of surrounding islands.

For visitors who don’t own their own yacht or sailing vessel, it is still possible to enjoy the the stunning marine landscapes by charting a motor or sailing vessel through one of the island’s many charter companies. Hiring a luxurious yacht gives you the freedom to explore the delights of the Andaman at your own pace, and regular visitors to Phuket often say the island is best appreciated form the ocean.


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