Phuket is the largest island of Thailand and the gateway to many holiday finishs in the Andaman Sea. Apart from big Numberss of tourers going to Phuket by flights, there are a figure of nautical travellers with personal yachts sing Phuket every twelvemonth and the figure of nautical travellers is lifting as shown in Table 3.1 ( The Tourism Authority of Thailand ‘s Phuket Office, 2010, cited in, 2010 ; Customer Port, 2010 ) . Those nautical tourers bring an one-year income of around Baht 10 billion ( US $ 306 million ) to the island ( 2010 ) .

Table 3.1: Summary of figure of international vass inward and outward in Phuket by Custom Port from 2005-2009








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Beginning: Custom Port, Phuket

Phuket has become both the mark of the resort island ‘s touristry industry and one of sailing finishs due to the advantages of its clime, the location and marine touristry substructure.


Phuket has a perfect clime in that there is no winter and the island is safe from typhoons and hurricanes. The mean temperature is between 24 and 32 grade Celsius throughout the twelvemonth. This twelvemonth round tropical clime makes Phuket ideal for yacht charters and sailing holidaies of all types.


The location of the island is a factor to do Phuket go one of maritime tourers ‘ picks. The island is bordered in the North and the E by Phang-Nga Province and the remainder of the island by the Andaman Sea which is portion of the Indian Ocean. Phuket is hence the gateway to the Indian Ocean. Maritime travelers can entree from Phuket to a assortment of locations in Phang Nga Bay and Langkawi, Malaysia on the sou’-east, every bit good as finishs to the Similan Islands, Surin Islands on the Northwest and up to the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar on the North ( See Figure 3.1 ) .

Marine Tourism Infrastructure

Comprised of international criterion marinas available on the island, Phuket is well-recognized as the most advanced seafaring substructure in Thailand by regional crewmans ( Fordham, 2005 ) . It was besides voted Asiatic Maritime Capital of the Year at the Asia Boating Award 2010 in Hong Kong ( The Tourism Authority of Thailand ‘s Phuket Office, 2010, cited in, 2010 ) . Furthermore, international events sing regattas and boat shows held in Phuket is another factor that drives Phuket to derive international acknowledgment. For illustration, Phuket King ‘s Cup Regatta can pull up to 100 boats and 1,000 visitants to the island every twelvemonth ( 2003 ) . The Phuket International Marine Expo ( PIMEX ) 2003 showcases Thailand ‘s possible as a major participant on the universe yachting scene ( 2003 ) .

Apart from the mentioned determiners, the authorities has played an of import function in turning Phuket to go a regional Marine leisure industry leader. Laws sing luxury revenue enhancements on imported yachts and ordinances were changed in 2004 to ease the ownership of yachts. Custom responsibility of 220 per centum on imported yachts if nautical travellers stayed in Thai Waterss longer than six months is exempted after a seminar in 2003 between the newly-formed Marine Alliance of Thailand ( MAT ) and senior officers from the authorities sections. Furthermore, Torahs on boat ownership and the demand that a boat must hold a Thai captain and applied scientist were reviewed.

Due to the above grounds, Phuket is going a finish for any seafaring and yacht charter holidaies in Southeast Asia. Consequently, a broad scope of services from a little concern of fix and care to a full-service marina has been developed to back up the growing of the marine leisure industry.

Phuket is a possible for its development for an international yacht marina. The program was initiated by Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization in 1989 and was subsequently approved by the authorities in 2004. At present, the program development is still in advancement. However, the building of new marinas by the private sector is presently prohibited by Phuket ‘s governor after an environment issue of the Yamu Project was earnestly raised by local villagers of the fishing communities nearby.

With respect to ports and nautical substructure, there are four private marinas in Phuket: Royal Phuket Marina, Boat Lagoon Marina, Yacht Haven Marina on the nor’-east seashore and Ao Po Grand Marina. Furthermore, there are a figure of shipwaies in Phuket City.

Illustration 3.1: Phuket seafaring map — -Source: Belliveau, J. ( 1996 ) . Perfect Seas: Siam… and lessons on ultimate seafaring, An Amateur ‘s Guide to the Plane, Beau Monde Press: pp. 137.

3.2 Introduction to Ao Po Grand Marina Phuket

Ao Po Grand Marina Phuket opened in August, 2008 by Ao Po Grand Marina Company Limited. The company was established in 2007 as a in private funded company with the intent of developing an sole Marine leisure existent estate undertaking for the luxury section in the North East of Phuket. The marina is onlyA 15 proceedingss drive from Phuket International Airport. It is located at the entryway of the sailing evidences of Phang Nga Bay and at the gateway to Phang Nga Bay sailing country and other vacation finishs.

The marina has a capacity of 200 positions. There are deepwater positions for up to 15 superyachts. Furthermore, it can host yachts of any boat with length from 6 metres up to 80 metres + .

Ao Po Grand Marina ‘s installations are as follows:

24 hours entree and zero tide limitations for all yachts

200 positions ( for boat lengths up to 80+ metre )

Deep H2O all-tide-access fuel dock with sufficiently big docking infinite

Diesel through criterion and high capacity fuel pump and gasolene

Metered H2O to all positions

Electric power supply for superyachts and other yachts

Boat incline with establishing installations for all trailerable boats

Haul-out installations and difficult base

Large position sizes, great steering infinite and broad, but protected marina entry

Pontoon entree and transit with golf roadsters and manus streetcars

Extra broad pontoon paseos ( 4.6 m )

2 Restaurants

Convenient auto parking

In add-on to the marina, Ao Po Grand Marina Company Limited besides has a big existent estate development undertaking covering 150 rai ( 60 estates or 24 hectares ) which is due to get down in 2009. The undertaking includes the Marina Village, dwelling of all major installations like bistro, clubhouse, retail mercantile establishments and offices for marine-related concerns every bit good as the development of a 80-room 5-star dress shop hotel, two semisynthetic lagunas and an array of private existent estate Villas.

In footings of location, even though these four marinas are located on the island ‘s east seashore like other rivals which helps protect them from the strong air currents of the southwest monsoon and gives easy entree to the year-around cruising resort areas of Phang-Nga Bay, the location of Ao Po Grand Marina is more advantageous. Ao Po Grand Marina is in a premier location therefore it can supply 24 hours entree and zero tide limitations for all yachts whereas some of its rivals can non. In add-on, the marina is besides closer to Phang Nga Bay, a popular finish for charter boats. This ideal location helps much on its concern. The marina can pull could pull some of the large participants in sailing charter vacations 2 months after its gap. For illustration, Amancruises, a charter operator for Amanpuri Resort, and Tawan Cruises relocated their yachts to the marina in October 2008. In May 2009, Sunsail Company, the universe ‘s taking sailing holiday company moved its base and its complete Phuket based fleet to the marina. Furthermore, the marina is used by a few of upmarket resorts in Phuket to reassign their invitees.

Table 3.2: Marina fees at Ao Po Grand Marina Phuket

Marina Fees

Rate ( THB Baht )

Berth Rental



Monohull[ 1 ]( below 65 pess )


20 per pes



420 per pes

Vessel less than 20 pess



Monohull ( 65-90 pess )


25 per pes



550 per pes

Monohull ( over 90 pess )


40 per pes




Multihulls ( catamaran/trimaran )


1.5 times or 50 % more on the above Monohull rates

Outside Berths of Walkway


Monohull rates

Pick up/Drop off


25 per pes






6.5 per KW



70 per M3



As posted at Marina Office

Beginning: Customer Service, Ao Po Grand Marina Phuket

In respect to the employees of the marina, there are a sum of 24 front-line employees. They are divided into two groups: 6 client service and disposal office employees and 18 dock staff. Most of the dock staff are local people who live around the marina. They can non talk English good. However, the marina director said that English communicating accomplishments are non much required for the dock staff but really indispensable for client service and disposal office employees who have to pass on with clients straight and manage their petitions. This is to guarantee that client demands or petitions have been well-understood and the marina can carry through them efficaciously. Besides, there are other 4 directors who ever back up their employees. Due to the little figure of employees, the directors can closely oversee employees executing their occupations and teach them to manage clients ‘ petitions for better services for clients when they are needed.

During the past 2 old ages, the marina has been turning fast and able to derive market portions in the marina concern even though the company is new to the market due to a limited figure of positions in the island which has merely three other marinas every bit good as partially due to its perfect location and installations for big vass.

3.3 Market Competitiveness in the Marina Business in Phuket

The term of marina which was “ the development back uping and including a boat seaport or moorage, and supplying necessary comfortss and facilitiesaˆ¦basically a recreational venture and non a commercial port, but should supply a secure and protected oasis ” ( Head, 1974 ) has become more sophisticated. Many marinas are positioning themselves as an incorporate marina resort and make many extra comfortss, such as shopping Centres, amusement, eating houses, and spas that can be used as a accelerator to pull both concern touristry and leisure touristry. These comfortss can make more net incomes to those marinas and besides supply a return on their investment.A Harmonizing to Martin Kaye, the pull offing manager of Millennium Asset Management of Hong Kong and Bangkok, “ Marinas as a concern truly are n’t that profitable, unless you have a existent estate or retail constituent to travel with it ” ( England, 2006 ) . The private marinas in Phuket have added values to their waterfront land by developing it into resorts, condominiums, and rental flat edifices alternatively of being free standing marinas. For illustration, Boat Lagoon, which is the first marina in Phuket, has complete installations and services for its clients such as yacht chandlery, fix and care, fittingness, laundry service, bank, supermarket, etc. every bit good as its ain resort and waterfront belongingss for gross revenues. The mark market of those waterfront belongingss is high-end clients who would wish to purchase a belongings, complete with a yacht position.

Since there are merely four chief participants in the marina concern in Phuket, competition does non look evidently fierce compared to other touristry concerns. However, these marinas are viing against each other for the place of the market leader. Apart from Ao Po Grand Marian, the market participants in the marina concern in Phuket include:

Phuket Boat Lagoon: It was established in 1994 and was Phuket ‘s first marina composite. The marina has a capacity of 168 positions in the laguna which was originally a tidal flat at the caput of a shoal, weaving 2-mile brook, Klong Tha Rua. It consists of a canal composite of condominiums, a hotel, serviced flats and eating houses, stores and offices. The marina provides comparable services: a fuel dock, three travel lifts up to 60 dozenss, a big concrete work country and hardstand for up to 80 vass, dry stack storage for 20 speedboats, 168 wet positions with power and H2O, a concrete boat incline, hot showers and altering room installations ; and many yacht service companies with on-site direction.

Phuket Yacht Haven: It was established in 1997 with a capacity of 150 positions for vass up to 60 metres on the outer positions with deepnesss of 4 – 5 metres and the minimal deepness in the smaller positions is 2 meters at LAT. The marina is located at Laem Phrao on the E of the island. The marina can be accessed from the E with nothing tide limitations. However, deep bill of exchange vass need to take extra attention to follow the channel during depressions. The Yacht Haven has a great advantage of its location due to its propinquity to Phang Nga Bay, the major all-year yachting resort area every bit good as handiness to the nearby international airdrome. On The marina besides has a eating house and saloon, showers, cabinets and lavatory installations for clients every bit good as offers fuel, H2O and provisioning services.

Royal Phuket Marina: Royal Phuket Marina is a new luxury lifestyle marina community on the eastern seaside of Phuket following to the Boat Lagoon. The marina offers 350 positions and 400 luxury Villas, condominiums and penthouses with a boat lock, non-tidal deepwater basin and private moorages on the doorsill of abodes. The marina can suit vass of up to 35 metres. The Royal Phuket Marina was awarded the Five Gold Anchor[ 2 ]by the Yacht Harbor Association, an arm of the British Marine Federation. Additionally, the marina is one of merely two marinas in Asia to rank in the top class.

Table 3.3: A comparative overview of the private marinas in Phuket



Berthing Capacity

Auxiliary Facilities

Zero Tide Restrictions


Ao Po Grand Marina

200 positions for vass up t 80+meters

A retail store, eating houses and offices



Phuket Boat Lagoon

Dry storage for 20 speedboats and 168 positions

Condominiums, a hotel, serviced flats and eating houses, stores, and offices



Phuket Yacht Haven

150 positions for vass up to 60 metres

A eating house and saloon and offices



Royal Phuket Marina

350 positions for vass up to 35 metres

Villas, condominiums and penthouses, eating houses and a saloon and a retail store


These participants besides compete against each other through utilizing many elements of the selling communications mix. They have tried to make on-site and off-site merchandise and trade name experience by patronizing important events for many old ages such boat shows, international regattas, etc. The sponsorship can heighten their corporate image and increase consciousness of their marinas to current every bit good as prospective clients. For case, Ao Po Grand Marina hosted opening Phang Nga Bay Regatta 2009 and invited all participants to remain nightlong free of charge in order to hold an easy and speedy start of the regatta the following forenoon. Those marketing communicating activities were carried out to assist the marina contribute their trade name equity and thrust gross revenues in the hereafter. During the in-depth interview, the client service director of Ao Po Grand Marina stated that hosting sponsorship events can do a positive impact on the trade name of the marina if the marina can manage good and it besides shows the marina ‘s capableness. In add-on to the sponsorship, the four marinas have been utilizing different possible communicating options or marketing communicating mix to increase trade name consciousness in footings of trade name acknowledgment. Apart from taking domestic and international leisure magazines and in-flight magazines to publicize its marina, the Royal Phuket Marina is outstanding in footings of synergistic e-marketing by utilizing the advantages of a popular societal web similar Facebook every bit good as e-newsletters on its web sites, for case.

Due to the fact that the marina concern requires heavy investing and has high fixed costs in signifiers of PPE ( Plant, Property and Equipment ) , ongoing high tenancy is really crucially of import. Although the gross from selling waterfront belongingss and other installations is really high for non-free standing marinas, nucleus services from the chief map of marinas are regarded important in bring forthing gross which helps maintain their concerns running in the long tally. Hence, first-class selling and service are of import determiners to heighten their ability to accomplish high tenancy rates and respond to progressively competitory environments.

3.4 Service Quality at Ao Po Grand Marina Phuket

Service quality is really of import to Ao Po Grand Marina. The marina director stated that the marina topographic points importance on service and is seeking to better service quality continuously harmonizing to client remarks on the service public presentation. However, the marina is still a startup company and the procedure of set uping service criterions is in a stage of development. It is found that service designs have non been established and there is no dedicated section responsible for human resource development. When there are new employees, the senior employees are encouraged to supply on-the-job preparation for new comers on how to execute their occupations and serve their clients. Additionally, there has ne’er been any formal preparation conducted for their employees, since the marina opened. However, the director stated that there will be an betterment on this when the company increases its size in footings of employees, gross, and the geographic scattering of other installations as planned for 2014. Refering to client satisfactions, the marina has non implemented any paper-based satisfaction study. However, directors set up direct communicating with clients in order to acquire their feedback to better the marina ‘s service quality. They normally go down to the dock and speak to clients in a friendly mode to study their satisfactions. Then they will convey up client remarks to discourse with their employees for betterment. The direction besides believes that this would besides assist the marina construct a good relationship with its clients.


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