BANGKOK (NNT) – The Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Center (TMECC) has reported that since the end of 2022, a total of 83 international cruise ships carrying more than 310,000 passengers have generated over 2 billion baht in tourism-related income for Thailand.
Navy Commander Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet, who serves as the deputy chief of TMECC, revealed these figures while highlighting the significant economic impact of cruise tourism on the country.
The recorded statistics encompass the period of October 2022 to the present, during which the TMECC has been responsible for ensuring the safety of tourists aboard cruise ships arriving in the Andaman Seas and the Gulf of Thailand. This commitment to safety aligns with the government’s tourism promotion policy, which aims to provide a secure and enjoyable experience for visitors.
Admiral Choengchai made the remarks while observing a medical evacuation drill conducted by about 5,000 passengers and 1,600 crew members on board Royal Caribbean International’s Spectrum of the Seas, a Miami-based cruise ship. This drill, the first of its kind held in Thailand, underlined the TMECC’s dedication to preparedness and safety protocols.
As the conclusion of the high tourist season in Thailand’s coastal areas approaches, Admiral Choengchai emphasized that more drills will follow when the new tourist season begins in September. These exercises contribute to the TMECC’s response to a recent inspection by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which identified areas for improvement.
The IMO assessment highlighted the need for a specific organization overseeing marine searches and rescues in the event of a major disaster involving large passenger ships. It also emphasized the necessity of a standard operation plan and regular exercises of the plan. In response, the TMECC has developed its first search and rescue operation plan for incidents involving large ships. The plan is currently under review by the Office of the Search and Rescue Commission.