The organisers of the Singapore Yacht Show have confirmed the launch of a new charter yacht show, to be hosted annually at Phuket Yacht Haven in Thailand. The inaugural show, to be held in mid-December 2014, will combine all the best aspects of yacht charter, the boating industry and luxury lifestyle events. Destined to attract industry and consumers alike, the event will be staged in the biggest superyacht marina in Asia-Pacific, currently being completely re-developed by its owners.
“After several years of really focused promotion, the number of yachts visiting Asia is finally becoming significant, and growing rapidly. We see this huge region, from Myanmar and the Andaman to Australia and the Pacific Islands, as being very important to the international industry,” said Andy Treadwell, Managing Director of show organisers Singapore Yacht Events. “This event is being launched with the support of all the local industry and will help to showcase everything the Asia-Pacific region has to offer as a charter and cruising destination. At the same time, we want to introduce the yachting lifestyle to the fast-growing potential client base here. There is a lot of wealth but, as yet, little boating experience.”
The beautiful Phuket Yacht Haven, in the north-eastern corner of Phuket and just 15 minutes from the international airport, is widely regarded as the port of choice for superyachts visiting Asia. The marina’s owners have recently commenced a complete re-development of this huge site, with a brand new private access road directly off the main highway and a new car park already completed. The upper part of the site will incorporate new residences, apartments, restaurants, and marine-industry business units. More importantly, on the lower level next to the marina, there will be a world-class Yacht Club accommodating 400 to 500 guests, with special facilities for captains and their crews. Responding to demand, the development will also include an additional 40 superyacht berths, 30 of which will be ready by December 2014 and so in time for the launch edition of this new Yacht Show.
Proprietor Jean Phataraprasit explained: “For several years we have been aware of the need for a world-class superyacht marina in Phuket with all the facilities that experienced and discerning yacht owners from the Mediterranean have come to expect. We have finally been able to bring the Yacht Haven project to fruition, and we are thrilled to be able to play a major part in developing the yachting industry in Asia, with all the economic benefits that it can bring. We are delighted to be working with such an experienced and respected show organising team, and we look forward to an excellent opening event in December 2014.”
Nick Wyatt, well-known to captains and yacht owners worldwide as the manager of Asia’s most popular superyacht marina, commented: “All of us at Yacht Haven and all the other marinas here are keen that Phuket continues to lead the way as a major destination hub within the region. We will have some 75 superyacht berths and all the infrastructure that such a facility requires, so we will be able to give a really great welcome to owners, captains, crew, and charterers alike. Phuket is also fast developing as the main refit and repair centre in Asia, and we are gradually filling in all the gaps to make this a genuine third yachting destination.”
The Asia-Pacific region is fast becoming a favourite winter destination for Mediterranean-based owners and captains, with more than 50 large yachts based in Phuket alone last winter. As yachts and their owners get more and more adventurous, so Asia-Pacific stands out as one of the few remaining areas of astounding and unspoilt beauty left to explore. Huge improvements in infrastructure and transport links within the region mean that it is easier than ever for yachts to visit this part of the world. As this destination continues to grow in popularity, the new show will fill another gap in the market to showcase the region specifically as a charter option.
One of the leading charter brokers in Asia is Vincent Tabuteau, of Asia Marine: “We are all really pleased with this initiative. We have been talking about such a show for years to help develop business in this beautiful region, and give yacht owners and charterers from all over the world a new and unforgettable cruising experience. It’s wonderful that it is finally going to happen. I foresee great things for the international industry here.”
MaryAnne Edwards, CEO of AIMEX, the Australian Marine Industries Association, and Superyacht Australia, was also enthusiastic: “This is a great concept and well-timed, with the arrival of more and more superyachts in this region. The whole Australian industry will be behind this new event, as we have a fantastic offering of first-world refit and repair infrastructure to complement the stunning cruising waters further up in Southeast Asia.”
The Show will serve as the perfect opener to the peak cruising season in Asia, which kicks off in December, and will take advantage of the large numbers of yachts in the Asia-Pacific waters at that time of year. A particular objective is to showcase yachting generally and available charter yachts to potential clients. The organisers will directly market the show to HNWIs (high networth individuals) within the region and internationally.