Thailand’s leading island destination, Phuket, is soon to receive a boost in low season arrivals as the 13th Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek readies to welcome more than 400 sailors and friends from 30 countries between 20th and 24th July, to compete in four days of exciting sailing off Phuket’s southeast coast.
“Thailand has five international regattas that attract sailors from around the world each year, “ explained Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chavanee Tongroach, Vice Minister of Tourism and Sports. “Phuket is the most popular of all the locations and has the most regattas – we can say that Phuket is the Regatta Hub. The beautiful sailing grounds and marine facilities are excellent and Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is very much inline the Government policy to promote Thailand as a leading marine tourism destination in the region.”
Home to three of the country’s “Big Five” international regattas, Phuket is Thailand’s regatta hub and with Phuket Raceweek’s low season timing it brings a boon to the island’s tourism industry, delivering revenues and showcasing the low season beauty of Phuket and its year-round sailing credentials. Moreover, the timing is popular with overseas sailors, particularly Australians, who can escape their winter for some warm-weather sailing in Phuket.
“Over the last four years we have focussed a lot on raising awareness of Phuket Raceweek overseas and increasing its appeal to international sailors,” said Mr Byron Jones, Managing Director of organisers Media Business Services Co. Ltd. (MBS). “We are now seeing the results with the number of International participants and chartered boats on the up. This brings benefits to Phuket through room bookings and tourism revenue, and we estimate the net financial gain to the island from Phuket Raceweek is approximately 15THB million.”
In addition to the time of year and appeal of warm-weather sailing, Cape Panwa Hotel itself is a huge drawcard for sailors. Its stunning beachfront and pier provides easy access for boats and an ideal anchorage for the fleet, while the five-star hospitality, Bamboo Bar and Regatta Village make for the perfect aprés sail environment.
“Marine tourism is a good way to showcase Phuket as a world-class tourism destination and its unique culture and lifestyle. Cape Panwa Hotel, and our sister property Kantary Bay, are proud to be a sponsor of this event and we look forward to welcoming the 400 plus sailors to Panwa Cape this Jul,” said Mr. Poomiphat Navanukroh, Travel Industry Group Director, Cape & Kantary Hotels.
With 38 boats already entered and more showing intent to do so, organisers expect the fleet will exceed 40. Competing in six or more classes including IRC, multihull, charter and one-design classes, the regatta has gained a reputation for delivering competitive racing together with picturesque island courses.
“We’re very encouraged to see some top calibre boats and crew from all over the world signed up, and come 20th July we may have one of the largest fleets in the event’s history,” added Mr. Jones.
Organised by Media Business Services, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek will take place 20 – 24 July, 206 headquartered at Cape Panwa Hotel, and is the kick-off event for the 2016/17 AsianYachting Grand Prix season.