Bill Gates’s Yacht Inspires Plans for Thai Island

Oh, to be Bill Gates’s yacht. The waters you’d sail. The navigational software that would chart your course. The luxury tourism developments you’d inspire. Developer Gulu Lalvani says a conversation he had with Gates in Phuket, Thailand earlier this year has inspired him to build a small island just off the Thailand coast in Phang Nga Bay. As Lalvani recalled, Gates told him: “If I could bring my yacht, I would come here every year.” The trouble is, Gates’s 54-meter yacht (a little larger than the pleasure craft pictured here) is too big for Phuket’s marina, which holds yachts up to 40 meters long.
Lalvani’s island would not only have berths accommodating much bigger boats, but it would include a five-star hotel and luxury condos.
He described it as “a mini-Palm Island, like in Dubai.”
But don’t try to reserve a berth just yet.
Reports the International Herald Tribune: “The project is still more of a concept than a reality, with Lalvani expecting to spend the next three years planning before the start of construction.”
Lalvani told Reuters he was bullish on post-tsunami tourism.
“First quarter arrivals and hotel occupancy were at an all time record,” he said. “2005 was a disaster but now every hotelier is over the moon. The tsunami’s a thing of the past, everyone’s forgotten about it.”
Well, not everyone everywhere.
Photo of Phuket waters by yeowatzup via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

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