Yesterday morning, a cruise ship from Singapore anchored off the coast of Patong, bringing with it 3,000 passengers for a brief visit to what is commonly regarded as the most polluted area of Phuket. The Genting Dream, a vessel operated by Resorts World Cruises, arrived in the early morning hours. The ship is now on a five-day cruise that began in Singapore and included stops in Penang, Malaysia, and Phuket, Thailand, so it is evident that the passengers are aware of what to expect on their journey. Representatives from the Kuala Lumpur office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) were there to meet the guests as the cruise liner docked in Phuket. The bulk of passengers is Singaporeans, Malaysians, Indians, Indonesians, and Taiwanese. The Genting Dream has 18 decks and is 335 meters long with 1,674 rooms. It has a passenger capacity of 3,352 people.

According to Napasorn Kakai, director of the Phuket Office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, travelers who come to Phuket by boat, whether on a private sailboat, a luxury yacht, or a massive cruise ship, tend to spend more than other tourists. Even though cruise ship passengers are only ashore for a single day, the vast majority of their time is spent at local restaurants, tourist attractions, and souvenir shops. The vessel departed Singapore on Sunday and was scheduled to depart Phuket yesterday evening to begin its return journey. It was scheduled to make stops in Langkawi and Port Klang, which serves Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, along the route. Koh Samui is currently preparing to welcome its first cruise ship since the Covid-19 pandemic, which occurred three years ago. The Viking Mars, a Norwegian ship carrying approximately 700 visitors, the bulk of whom are from Europe, is set to make a one-day stop on the island so that its passengers can spend some time there. Prior to the construction of the Covid, the cruise industry annually brought more than 500,000 tourists to Phuket. In 2019, 154 cruise ships carried a combined total of 485,000 people to the island’s port, making it one of the busiest in the world.

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