Phuket, 12 February 2016 – After an hors d’oeuvre in the form of the hugely successful Thailand Yachting Forum, the inauguralThailand Yacht Show (TYS) opened its doors at Ao Po Grand Marina yesterday, 11 February.
Guest of Honour for the Official Opening was Deputy Prime Minister General Thanasak Patimaprakorn, accompanied by an entourage of Ministers and Directors from the Marine Department of Thailand, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Ministry of Sports.
After the VIP guests had toured the indoor pavilion, Andy Treadwell, Managing Director of the Thailand Yacht Show, gave the opening address, acknowledging the invaluable support of the various Government Ministries and the management of host sponsor Ao Po Grand Marina. “When we first started this project a couple of years ago the business plan that we shared with your Government was to turn Thailand into the principal hub for the yachting industry in South East Asia, with Phuket as its epicenter.”
“Our declared mission to help make Thailand and Asia the world’s ‘third destination’ for superyachts (after the Mediterranean and the Caribbean) is now changed. The news that the required VAT on charter yachts entering Thailand will soon be waived opens the doors to all those potential visitors who know about Phuket, and want to visit Thailand and Asia. Asia should now become the ‘second destination’ not the third.”
The Deputy Prime Minister and Ministers were then treated to a tour of the on-water exhibits and a properly magnificent luncheon on board the impressive M/Y Titania, a Lürssen 73m and the biggest yacht in the Show.
Both down on the docks and in the indoor pavilion, TYS has presented a first class collection of boats and exhibitors. “It’s been a rush, ” said Andy Treadwell. “We have put this together in a little over three months – just imagine what we can do with a full year’s promotion and organisation!”Over 40 sailing and motoryachts are on display ranging from 73m to 12.9m, showcased by well known local dealers and international brokers including Lee Marine, Boat Lagoon Yachting, Simpson Marine, Burgess, Marine Max and MGC Asia, Northrop & Johnson Asia.
The ‘indoors’ exhibitor list includes property companies, bespoke furniture manufacturers, cruise charterers and marine equipment suppliers. For a full listing please seehttp://www.thailandyachtshow.
The double-width pontoons have allowed exhibitors to set up substantial welcome areas without obstructing traffic, making for a visitor experience very different from other boat shows. In the cool of the early evening, parties onboard M/Y Ocean Emerald and the Hype VIP Lounge spilled over onto the dock, making for a great atmosphere all along the moorings.
Opening Day at the Thailand Yacht Show proved to be a resounding success. Comments from visitors have been enthusiastic and congratulatory. People are viewing, and people are talking. The event has generated an informal and congenial atmosphere in which B2B and B2C conversations are taking place: it’s a great start to putting Thailand, and then Asia, firmly centre stage of the yachting and boating world.