Archive for » December 10th, 2017«

Boat Lagoon floats expansion

Mr Vrit says foreigners travelling by yacht in Thailand will grow 5-10% per year.

Boat Lagoon Yachting Co, Thailand’s largest and oldest yacht import, distribution and after-sales services firm, seeks to penetrate the growing niche of marine tourism across Southeast Asia and the Maldives.

The company unveiled strategic plans to the public for the first time since starting its shipyard in 1994 and has been expanding into yachts and marinas across Southeast Asia as well as hotels and real estate, mostly in southern Thailand.

Vrit Yongsakul, the group’s managing director, said the number of foreign visitors travelling with yachts in and out Thailand, especially to Phuket, will continue to grow by 5-10% per year. The market value for yacht business and services will grow beyond tourist arrival growth, judging from higher demand for luxury yachts and longer stays for both leisure and maintenance work, compared with decades ago, said Mr Vrit.

Major factors for the forecast are more visitors are travelling to marine attractions in Thailand, the growth of independent travellers, the movement of yachting from mature markets in the West to Thailand, and the emergence of yachting as a niche sport activity.

He said the company owns 1.2 billion baht worth of Phuket Boat Lagoon Marina on the east of the island, consisting of a 80-rai boatyard, 500-rai marina, real estate, a condominium and a hotel.

“We are committed to providing an extensive range of products and services to help people enjoy yachting experiences for every need and occasion, including new and used yacht sales, yacht rentals, yacht management and after-sales service,” said Mr Vrit.

Some of the luxury yacht brands represented by the company are Princess, Jeanneau, Prestige, Benetti and Wider.

Moreover, linkage services such as maintenance and after-sales devices as well as yacht management have also boomed over the last few years and are expected to see strong growth in the future.

The company provides maintenance and services through its bonded warehouse, located in Phuket Boat Lagoon Marina. The centre provides imported spare parts and tailor-made maintenance for all yachts.

“With over 80 experienced staff, expatriate engineers and service team members dedicated to serving clients’ yachting needs, as well as more than 200 boats on the water, Boat Lagoon Yachting is the partner of choice for yacht owners across the region,” he said.

The company offers a full range of luxury yachts to suit every lifestyle, from short day outings to large superyachts.

A hotel was set up next to its marina in Phuket to serve tourists, along with condos, shops, villas and entertainment outlets.

Aside from Phuket, the group also operates a marina and maintenance centre in Krabi province, which has been opened since 2012. It set up a hotel with 100 rooms in the complex last year, complementing 20 villas.

The group also owns Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express near Noppharat Thara beach in Krabi province, with a combination of about 400 rooms.

Boat Lagoon Yachting has a branch in Pattaya that offers sales and yacht management services.

Overseas the group has marketing and after-sales branches in Singapore, Penang, Jakarta, and the Maldives.

Mr Vrit has led the growth of Boat Lagoon Yachting for more than 10 years. He helmed the group’s expansion from a Thai base to overseas expansion, making it one of Southeast Asia’s most successful yacht distribution businesses today.

He was elected in 2015 as chairman of Bluewater Alliance, a regional organisation comprising premier cruising clubs and marinas across 10 Asean nations, that promotes marine tourism and the nautical lifestyle.

Furthermore, Mr Vrit is one of the region’s best-known yachting personalities, with an active relationship with many yacht manufacturers and key figures in the yachting industry.

The group earned total revenue of 600 million baht last year and is expected to reach 1 billion baht this year.

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