ITALY-BASED cruise liner company Costa Crociere will make its debut in Laem Chabang port near Bangkok as its maritime tourism hub to serve cruise ship travelers within the ASEAN region.
Buhdy Bok, president of Costa Group Asia, said that Thailand has long-term tourism potential as a sourcing and destination market for maritime tourism.
He added, “We will continually expand in Thailand by launching our first home port cruises from Laem Chabang.”
Meanwhile, Costa Victoria captain Giovanni Cosini said that the cruise liner will play an important role in serving rising demand for both Thai and international visitors seeking to immerse in maritime tourism in the near future.
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The ship will be cruising over four nights to explore destinations such as Sihanoukville in Cambodia, Phu Quoc in Vietnam, and Koh Samui in Thailand before making its way back to its base of Laem Chabang.
Mrs Wassana Paisarn-akanee, the general manager of Joyful Holidays and a sales agent for Costa Victoria in Thailand, said, “Thailand should promote the fact that it has outstanding piers and ports and a good immigration process for cruise tourists.”
This year, Thailand expects revenue from foreign tourists to rise 8.5 percent to 1.78 trillion baht (US$49.8 billion), according to Deputy Prime Minister Thanasak Patimaprakorn.
“This is another year that we will need to focus on quality tourism more than tourist numbers,” he said.
Thanasak also expects daily tourist spending to increase to 5,200 baht per person this year, from 5,100 baht last year.