Billionaire sails in for Samui break

Billionaire sails in for Samui break

Warm welcome for Tottenham Hotspur owner Lewis

Lewis: Crew of 37man B4.5bn 'Aviva'
Lewis: Crew of 37man B4.5bn 'Aviva'

Joe Lewis, the 85-year-old British billionaire and owner of Premier League football team Tottenham Hotspur, and his family yesterday cruised into Koh Samui aboard his 4.5-billion-baht superyacht, the first international yacht to visit the island after the country scrapped Test & Go entry at the beginning of this month.

Surat Thani governor Witchawut Jinto and chief of the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre (Thai-MECC) in Surat Thani instructed immigration officials, the international communicable disease control team and marine office to facilitate the Cayman Island-flagged Aviva superyacht.

Mr Witchawut said Mr Lewis often holidayed about the vessel and he was honoured that the businessman and his family were to be Koh Samui's first foreign yacht tourists since the lifting of restrictions.

Lewis: Crew of 37man B4.5bn 'Aviva'

Mr Lewis ranked 41st on the Sunday Times Rich List in 2021.

The seven-deck superyacht weighs 1,845 tonnes and stretches 68 metres long by 12.3 metres wide, with a top speed of 16.50 knots and ability to accommodate 16 passengers.

There were also 37 crewmen aboard Mr Lewis's yacht. All of them had been fully vaccinated and held legal travel documents.

The superyacht is designed to serve as Mr Lewis's mobile office and storage for his art collections. It also has its own private tennis court as well as show-bar nightclub.

In more good news for the island resort, media reports say business operators in Rin Beach are expecting about 7,000 attendees at the popular Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan district tomorrow night.

Mr Witchawut has assigned the district chief to head a maritime safety committee during the event.

Marine officials will check the readiness of boats to shuttle visitors to and from the island.

Also, Mr Witchawut has instructed agencies including administrative officials, police, soldiers, marines, public health and local administrative officials to assist visitors and ensure safety on the island.

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