Boat show rated a success

KOH KAEW: As the Phuket International Marine Exhibition (PIMEX) 2005 closed on Sunday, exhibitors were in an excellent mood. At least 12 boats were sold during the show at the Boat Lagoon, and initial estimates of solid sales achieved amount to approximately US$4 million (160 million baht).

Dealers and brokers all reported new contacts made and strong leads to follow up from serious buyers. “I have not stopped talking to serious visitors since the show opened on Thursday,” said a weary but elated Craig Murphy of Sunseeker dealers Max Marine Asia, at the show’s closing party.

Nor was the upbeat mood restricted to yacht sales. “We have made better contacts here than we have at other shows in Asia,” said Jim Scott, General Manager, West Australia, of Sea Slip Marinas, adding that he believed Phuket was the best venue for a regional show.

PIMEX also provided an opportunity for local companies and overseas exhibitors to network in Asia’s fastest-growing marine leisure market. During the show eight new dealerships or agencies were established.

Among local marine product exhibitors, Gareth Twist of Yacht Solutions said, “We are marketing new products and have had a very good response during PIMEX. We will be back next year.”

Yacht Solutions made the last sale of the show, to a buyer who rushed in minutes after official closing time to buy a life raft.

Property exhibitors generally reported a lively show, with many taking visitors out of the show for site visits.

“We didn’t actually close a sale during PIMEX,” said Jeanette Skelton of Royal Phuket Marina, “but we met many people who were planning to move to Phuket and we were able to take them next door to show them around.” Ms Skelton said she is confident that sales will result.

“PIMEX has developed a reputation as a serious boating and lifestyle show,” said Grenville Fordham of Image Asia, adding, “While we are able to put more boats in the water than any other regional show, we are not renowned for surface gloss.

Just over 4,000 visitors attended the show during four days, 2,300 of whom were registered as trade visitors. “We are disappointed that we did not reach our target of 6,000 visitors,” said Image Asia’s Andy Dowden during his farewell party speech.

“However, we will keep working on our marketing program, targeted at Bangkok. This is a long-term approach, and we are confident that it will eventually bring results as this new market becomes more aware of yachting.”

Phuket News

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