PHUKET: It was all smiles last Sunday evening as the 11th Phuket International Boat Show at the Royal Phuket Marina drew to a close. Happy exhibitors cleared their displays before moving on to enjoy a well deserved respite from a busy weekend at the boardwalk restaurants and bars.
By all reports, this year was a fantastic show with many exhibitors saying the event had generated several yacht sales and dozens of high quality leads.
“The show proved to be better than anticipated and I was delighted with both quantity and quality of potential buyers we met,” he said.
“We had a fantastic response, both to the yacht, and to our presence at PIMEX, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who visited us with words of encouragement and support.
“The yacht that we displayed [an Azimut 82], although not a current model, is a wonderful representation of the brand; the style which is unmistakably Italian, the quality and craftsmanship were all features that attracted much attention and comment. We are extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to represent this iconic brand in Thailand.”
A first time exhibitor at PIMEX, Australia and New Zealand based Multihull Solutions agree that the show was an excellent way to sound out the Southeast Asian yachting market. Multihull Solutions Marketing Manager Kim McKee said that the show delivered quality, if not quantity, when it came to those who attended, noting the strong Russian presence.
“We are extremely pleased with the quality of visitors at the show. Although the actual number of people seemed low, the quality of those coming through was excellent,” she said.
“Many of the visitors were Russian so we employed a Russian interpreter on our stand which greatly assisted us in capturing those who did not speak English.”
Being newcomers to the Thai yachting market did not slow Multihull down either, with the team making a sale on the opening day of the show.
“We sold a Summerland 40 LC, a power catamaran built by Fountaine Pajot which was a great result for us – directly from the show. We also have numerous very strong leads to follow up this week so we expect more sales will come to fruition,” said Ms McKee.
Aside from yachts, this year’s show featured some innovative new marine products bound to penetrate the local market, including a locally-produced Hookah underwater breathing apparatus, and a semi-submarine.
The show wasn’t all business though and many guests and exhibitors enjoyed a sumptuous poolside cocktail party at the RPM villa hosted by Aziamendi with 3-star Michelin chef Eneko Atxa from the recently opened Iniala Resort in Phang Nga, with entertainment by the lovely EKA and her soulful music.
Another highlight at this year’s show was a Phuket Gazette lucky draw in which four lucky contestants won a scenic flight over Phuket. See details here.
The show’s final day on Sunday ended with a fanfare of ship’s horns from the assembled fleet. Monday was equally busy for the captains and crews of the yachts as they waited their turn to move out to their permanent berths in RPM or other marinas. Two Superyachts, 17 yachts over 20m, and the rest of the fleet made an impressive spectacle as they eased their way down the channel to the open sea. See the video here.
By the end of the show, over 3,800 visitors from 56 different countries had enjoyed the products on display and the social facilities on the boardwalk at RPM. In all, 54 per cent of these visitors were from overseas with the largest group being from Russia. Yachts, property and Harley-Davidsons were sold, strong contacts established by all and the health of the marine industry in Thailand reasserted. Visitors and exhibitors now look forward to the 2015 show, to be held from January 8 to 11 next year at Royal Phuket Marina.
The Phuket Gazette and PGTV continue as proud sponsors of this iconic Phuket event.
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