With a significant percentage of the world's disposable income now parked in Asia, the luxury yachting industry is gaining ground across the entire region. March and April are now known as boat show season in Asia, with a choice of major events on offer in various countries for visitors, and world class luxury vessels and branded products on display at marinas around the region.
Luxury sailing and motor yacht charters are also becoming increasingly popular with visitors to places like Thailand and Malaysia, who now have a wealth of options when it comes to sunset cruises, day sailing and longer ocean going adventures. Phuket is rapidly becoming the boating hub of Southeast Asia and those who want to combine experiences on land and at sea, can rent a private villa to relax and indulge in the tropical lifestyle, then charter a luxury boat to visit the many stunning offshore islands, remote beaches and hidden coves.
A round up of the region's boat shows offers proof positive that South East Asia is rapidly becoming the Caribbean of the East when it comes to luxury boating.
PIMEX - Phuket's International Boat Show
At the end of March, the Phuket International Boat Show, aka PIMEX, highlights the Andaman island's growing role in Asia's fast expanding marine leisure industry. PIMEX plays an important role in stimulating demand for marine products and services in the region with over 5,500 visitors having attended the 2011 show to view the USD100 million of boats on display, as well as a range of other marine and lifestyle offerings. PIMEX connects buyers directly with sellers with one of the largest in-water displays in the region. International buyers often choose to leave their boats in Phuket's marinas so they can enjoy the facilities and surrounding cruising grounds at their leisure. This year,a senior team from Ferretti in Italy is attending the show to promote their top of the range vessels and there is also the largest display of Sunseeker Yachts ever shown in Thailand, including the recently launched Manhattan 73, plus Maia, one of 2 Manhattan 63's based on Phuket and also a new Manhattan 53, which waslaunched at the Southampton Boatshow in late 2011.
With China's burgeoning interest in luxury yachting, it's no surprise that boat shows in the Middle Kingdom are drawing major shipyards, brokerages and marine specialists from around the world. The Hainan Rendezvous is becoming a landmark event for China's affluent and influential. Over 15,000 visitors attended the show in 2011, an impressive turnout due in part to the fact that Hainan is becoming a key yachting hub for China. As a single event that now draws some of the world's top superyacht brands, business jet brands and ultra-luxury lifestyle brands withpotential buyers throughout the whole of China, HRV 2012 is the place to be from April 5-8 for anyone involved in high-end yachting.
The 2012 edition of one of Asia's largest luxury boating events returns to the Marina at Keppel Bay from 12-15 April. Since it moved to one of Singapore's most spectacular marinas in 2007, Boat Asia has become a driver for the marine industry in Singapore and the region, positioning itself as a platform for marine businesses to showcase their products and services to the regional and global marketplace. Based on a concept that integrates a range of yachting and luxury lifestyle elements, Boat Asia 2012 once again offers fabulous networking opportunities with a packed programme of activities catering to boating and non-boating enthusiasts alike.
Singapore Yacht Show
From 27-29 April, the Singapore Yacht Show showcases all that the yachting lifestyle has to offer. Staged just before the Singapore Yacht Show, the Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference is a forum to discuss and explore the opportunities for the superyacht industry in Asia Pacific, and to build the region as an exciting and emerging cruising and yacht building destination. The show itself also features a dedicated superyacht section that draws some of the world's most magnificent luxury craft to the Lion State. More than 4,000 highly qualified attendees enjoyed the inaugural three-day presentation last year and the excellent turnout and positive response from exhibitors underlined the tremendous potential for the large yacht business in South East Asia, as well as supporting the region's ambitions to become the third destination for the global cruising fleet.