The Harbour Department will build a new pier near Phuket airport and open five ferry routes linking Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga, the department chief said on Thursday.
Jirut Wisaljit, director-general of the Harbour Department, said the new port and the “Andaman Ring Route” ferry service would reduce congestion at the Phuket airport and on roads in the three southern coastal provinces.
He said the three provinces are popular among foreign tourists and the port and ferry routes would help reduce congestion of tourists flying between Phuket and Krabi or driving between provinces.
The new pier near the Phuket International Airport would allow tourists to get off boats and take planes without having to use road transport, he said.
The first route will link Ao Por pier in Phuket to Chong Lad pier of the Koh Yao Yai in Phang Nga and to Tha Lane pier in Krabi.
The second route will link Chong Lad pier to Manoh Pier of Koh Yao Noi in Phang Nga.
The third route will link Ban Hua Hin pier in Tambon Koh Klang of Koh Lanta district of Krabi to Klong Mad pier in Tambon Koh Lanta Noi in Koh Lanta district.
For the fourth route, ferryboats will travel from Ao Thong Lang pier on Koh Lanta to Koh Jum in Krabi.
And the fifth route will link Koh Lanta Yai to Koh Por in Krabi, Jirut said.
He said there will also be a new speedboat service from Ao Por pier in Phuket to Laem Lan pier on Koh Yao Yai, Laem Dong beach of Koh Phi Phi, Ton Sai beach of Koh Phi Phi and Sala Dan pier of Koh Lanta in Krabi.
Jirut said the new boat services are expected to start within this year.