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Thailand Yacht Show 2016: Business as Usual


Boats on the docks. Visitors on the pontoons. Cold beer and cider. Panama hats. Parasails. Charter Brokers and Dealers. Sunshine and shade (when you need it). Today at the Thailand Yacht Show (TYS) it was very much ‘business as usual’ with dealers and brokers unanimously expressing satisfaction with the way the event is unfolding. “This Show has brought a whole new standard of event to Thailand,” said one dealer.

It’s hard to pin down, but somehow the TYS has a truly ‘international’ feel about it, and is bringing a whole new standard to Thailand. Andy Treadwell, creator of this event as well as of the now world-renowned Singapore Yacht Show, would say that it’s all about ‘doing things properly’. He brings to Asia a wealth of experience in the international boat show business. “In order to stimulate growth in the leisure marine industry in any strategic location, you have to look further afield. We have to encourage overseas yacht owners to come to discover Asia with their boats, and at the same time persuade wealthy lifestyle-seekers from all over the region to come and try out yachting. TYS is all about visibility, not only locally, but also internationally.”

‘Quality visitors’ and ‘quality enquiries’ are making an impression on the dealers and brokers. “Usually at boat shows in Asia we expect to meet a large number of people who have never been on a boat before, and want to ‘have a look’ out of sheer curiosity,” said one of the international-brand brokers. “But here at the very first edition of TYS, we are immediately talking to visitors with genuine interest, who have done the research already, and now want to see what the product really looks like. It’s very refreshing.”

The function of a boat show has changed in recent years. The internet has placed huge amounts of information within everyone’s reach - you can find out the full specifications of any boat that takes your fancy just by visiting a website, and it doesn’t take a visit to a boat show to discover the tank capacity of an X-Ray 65. All of which means that boat shows are less technical and more experiential than previously.

There was plenty of experience being demonstrated at the on-water Demo Platform, with Sea-Doos, JetSurfs, Jetskis, Stand-up Paddle Boards and inflatable water toys on display and being demonstrated. Highlight of the day was an eye-popping display of daredevil antics by the reigning Flyboard World Champion, Suksan Tongthai. You just didn’t know that you could do this sort of thing with a pair of water jets strapped to your boots! Welcome to the Thailand Yacht Show ‘experience’.

It was a warm day on the dock, but there was plenty of shade and free water provided to keep visitors at the right temperature. If you prefer, stop by for an icy cold beer or a glass of cider – on the dock. When the sun went down the party crowd took over the show, with an exceptionally glamorous VIP reception on board M/Y Titania, and a ‘Rock the Dock’ party practically everywhere else.

Lee Marine threw a party to celebrate the opening of their new offices at Ao Po Grand Marina, with Founder and CEO Josh Lee acknowledging the huge amount of teamwork that has gone into 30 years in the marine business in Thailand.

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