The third edition of the Thailand Yacht Show entertained visitors with on-the-water experiences, glamorous parties on superyachts, and try-outs of the very best in boating brands and marine leisure toys.
Surrounded by sea views and blue skies, the third edition of the Thailand Yacht Show (TYS) came to a successful close on the evening of Sunday, 25 February 2018, with the traditional symphony of horns at Ao Po Grand Marina, Phuket. Over the course of four sunny days, TYS welcomed a total of 4,730 visitors who were treated to the best of the yachting lifestyle. From trying out the latest water sports and toys to getting on board a wide range of boats and revelling in glamourous yacht parties, TYS was an immersive experience for both seasoned aficionados and newcomers alike.
“The 2018 edition of TYS has really been excellent, especially given the very short lead time we had to work with again,” said Andy Treadwell, co-founder of the show with the Thai government. “We achieved all our goals, with some significant sales made by our exhibitors, a good number of charter superyachts on display, a great social calendar and a wonderful ambience – it’s really proved the concept,” he added.
Importantly, there were several international superyacht owners and captains on hand to confirm to government observers exactly how much they would spend with local shops and service providers, if only they were allowed to stay in Thailand and charter each winter—potentially totalling hundreds of millions of dollars within a few years. “With the invaluable partnership we have with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Ministry of Tourism & Sports (MOTS), we are making great headway towards transforming Thailand into a new winter charter base for the global superyacht fleet,” Treadwell affirmed. “As we continue our drive to boost marine tourism here by streamlining regulations, we are more and more confident that a developing yachting industry will trigger a major economic boost for local businesses and communities.”
The show’s patron and guest of honour, Minister of Tourism and Sports Weerasak Kowsurat, said in his opening address: “Our support of the Thailand Yacht Show goes well beyond this four-day event. It is part of an extensive strategy to broaden our tourism products and services, attract inward investment to build and develop marine leisure infrastructure, and ultimately, create jobs for Thai people. TYS provides a focal point for this strategy and facilitates communication between the market, the industry and our officers.”
He continued: “The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is committed to positioning Thailand as a preferred destination for the global fleet of superyachts. To that end, we continue to work with the TYS team and key industry players to devise cohesive regulations and promote Thailand as a natural and functional hub for the yacht tourism industry in Asia.”
The impressive line-up at this year’s show saw a completely full marina, with a sparkling fleet of nearly 50 yachts, sailing boats and catamarans for sale or charter. Leading brands Ferretti, Feadship, Perini Navi, Princess, Sunreef and Sunseeker all had major displays.
The 15-strong superyacht fleet included the 90m Cassens-Werft-built Lauren L, the biggest yacht ever to be exhibited at any show in Asia and presented by Titan Fleet Management; the 60m Feadship M/Y Paraffin, presented by Fraser Yachts; 47m Custom Line M/Y Happy Days, represented by Lee Marine; and the 38m Perini Navi S/Y La Numero Uno brought by Asia Marine.
Visitors were quickly drawn to the several catamarans on display, ever-popular due to their sleek exteriors and spacious interiors, as well as the great stability they provide while underway and at anchor. Multihull Solutions premiered the ITAC 54 at the Show, a striking power catamaran designed by world-renowned Italian naval architect, Riccardo Bulgarelli—and sold it on the second day. They also sold a pre-owned Fountaine Pajot, and are confident of securing orders for at least two more boats from TYS visitors. Multihull Solutions CEO Mark Elkington commented: “In all the 200 plus boat shows I have attended over the past 30 years or so, this has easily been one of the best, especially in terms of return on investment. We are fully committed to supporting this show and its sister show in Singapore—these are the most important events for us in this upcoming market.”
TYS’s new sponsoring partners from Germany, BMW and Torqeedo, struck a real chord with Minister Weerasak and the public at large by showcasing their innovative solutions for sustainable mobility on land and at sea. Torqeedo’s MD for the Asia Pacific, David Hunter, was enthusiastic about their first experience of TYS: “Overall it's been a huge success. The show has been good for us commercially, it was well-executed, has huge potential, and we are proud to be supporting sponsors. The interest people have had in our new technology is phenomenal.”
CEO of Cholamark Boat Co, Hans Martin, said the same: “The whole show I believe was a success. The surroundings, the public, everything worked really well this year. There was a lot of interest in our electric engines and the show in general.”
Princess Yachts once again had one of the biggest displays in the show and met several potential new clients. “Without a doubt, the Thailand Yacht Show is the most important marine event in Thailand for us now, and we don’t see the need for any other boat shows going forwards. The event's timing allows us to organise VIP and customer sea trials in the morning and even during the show itself. This is an excellent way to showcase the marine lifestyle we are selling while opening up to the public in the afternoon and evening,” said Vrit Yongsakul, Group Managing Director of Boat Lagoon Yachting.
Another beautiful yacht waiting for good news on the government’s promised charter license for foreign superyachts was the classic Perini Navi La Numero Uno, presented by Yacht Services Thailand. Owner-driver Mick Cotter was also positive about the TYS: “The Show enabled us to meet a broad cross-section of different industry leaders and professional people, as well as some interesting potential customers. We really need this tax situation to be sorted out and the charter license to come to fruition now!”
Visitors clearly enjoyed the panoramic views of the Bay’s paradisiacal islands from the floating VIP lounge, as well as sommelier-led wine tastings, Thai cooking demonstrations from renowned local chefs, sunset cocktails afloat and full-moon yoga sessions. Young yachtsmen were heavily pampered at the TYS Kids Club, where dedicated activities and shows kept them entertained whilst their parents discovered the best of the yachting world.
The glamorous social calendar at TYS created a great ambience for visitors perusing the fleet of boats and superyachts - from electric private parties or morning and dinner cruises afloat, to sunset cocktails onboard luxury catamaran HYPE and charter yacht ILLUZION, the party never stopped. Illuzion Group’s director Mohammed Alfathi said: “If I had to describe the show in one word, it would be ‘SPECTACULAR!’. I recommend similar businesses to join this event—it’s great fun!”
The Thailand Yacht Show is organised by luxury lifestyle brand, Verventia, also owners of the Singapore Yacht Show, whose eighth edition will be taking place from 12-15 April 2018 in One°15 Marina in Sentosa Cove. The two complementary shows feature the biggest and best brands in the yachting industry and are the focal point of the luxury yacht business in the Asia Pacific.