The upcoming ‘Yachting Shanghai – The International Marine Expo’ represents the first comprehensive international marine festival in Shanghai, China. Scheduled to run from July 8 to 12, 2015, this luxury yachting and lifestyle event is expected to provide a trading platform that improves the yachting lifestyle in China.
China’s first-ever yacht appeared in Shiliupu Dock, the Bund in Shanghai in the 1920s. The Shiliupu Dock, once the largest wharf in the Far East and water portal of Shanghai, carries many history-related memories about the prosperity of the Bund in Shanghai. Another saying is that according to the China Yachting magazine, China’s earliest yacht even could be traced back to the Shanghai Yacht Society in 1873. Back then, only foreigners living in China could enjoy yachts. Shanghai, as China’s window into the world, has brought in luxury lifestyle products from around the globe including yacht. That being said, as China experiences the great transformation in modern times, the yacht clubs in Shanghai have been pushed out of business, which is truly a pity.
As times goes by, China’s coastal regions are now constantly enhancing support for the development of the yachting industry and various regions are witnessing prosperous and vigorous development of the yachting industry nearly a century later. Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Xiamen, Shenzhen and Sanya, among other coastal cities are inlaid into the lengthy coastal line of China like a string of glittering pearl necklace. Some predicts that the yachting industry is expected to become another golden industry following the auto industry. As an important dimension in the marine economy, the yachting industry is turning into a new driving force for China’s economic development.
Old Photo of Shiliupu Dock, the Bund in Shanghai
Take Hainan as an example. In January 2015, CCTV covered the news that “Hainan’s yachting industry becomes the new engine of economic development in Hainan”. Since 2010, Haikou has successively put in place the development plan for the yachting and cruise industry and the master plan of Haikou for yacht docks to advance the yachting industry, and hosted the World Yacht Economy Forum on an annual basis. By 2030, Haikou would build up 16 yacht docks and 35,000 berths. On top of that, Haikou is also trying to establish administrative rules on the sailing, mooring, departure and entry, trading, protective tariff and sea area use of yachts as it works to take the lead in integrating with international practice while developing yacht R&D, manufacturing, exhibition, marketing, maintenance and training and forming a comprehensive yacht industrial chain. The yachting industry is evolving into a new highlight of the tourist economy in Haikou, Hainan.
But Shanghai, which is in the middle of the pearl necklace and should have been the most resplendent, has seen its yachting industry lagging behind that of other coastal cities and failed to boost the marine economy. This truly doesn’t match with its rank as a “Luxury, Large, Level up” international metropolis.
Inviting guests to relax on own yacht is, in its own right, the most fashionable and decent commercial activity and many major commercial deals are sealed in the atmosphere of guest-host happiness. But Shanghai is only home to 200-300 yacht population, only accounting for a tiny share in the international metropolis of Shanghai. Although they spearhead the most front-end way of living in Shanghai, they are truly weak after all. Shanghai is in dire need of an enabling platform to cultivate and enlarge the client base of yachting.
With regard to water resources, Shanghai enjoys quality waterfront tourism resources which are enviable for other cities and deserve vigorous development. The thing is that the riverway of the Suzhou River is narrow, while the Huangpu River has the main function of transportation. Channels suitable for yacht sailing call for urgent treatment.
At this point, ashes of history have been brushed off. Looking southward from the old Shiliupu Dock, along the Nanpu Bridge and its southern area, the widest and cleanest surface of the Huangpu River is the premium water area that is the most suitable for the navigation of yachts and sailing boats. This is definitely the venue of water activities of the 2015 Yachting Shanghai The International Marine Festival. On the east coast is the well-known Shanghai Expo Park. On July 8, 2015, the onshore exhibition area with a total area of 150,000 sq.m. will be grandly opened to the public here. Expo L1 and L6 docks, with 200 million yuan in investment from Shanghai Major League Yacht Club, are well under construction along both ends of the Lupu Bridge and will be fully completed and launched in May this year. It is imaginable that with high prospects in such a predominant geographical position, the Yachting Shanghai is expected to fill in the gaps that Shanghai doesn’t have a comprehensive international marine festival.
At the early days, only foreigners and compradors could enjoy yachts, but today elites and even ordinary citizens may take part in. Based on three major concepts, the Yachting Shanghai pinpoints on elites and expands the scope of audiences to stage a popular park-style marine festival.
Concept 1, marine culture. The Yachting Shanghai mainly promotes the Chinese-European Shanghai Super Cup International Regatta. It has invited 4 European star teams to participate the Regatta which will be challenged by 2 Chinese star teams; not only excellent finals, but also such events highly fitting for the public as public yacht experience area and offshore cruise show, will be held, which represents an integration of elite culture and mass culture.
Concept 2, urban quality life. The Yachting Shanghai puts on display super yacht, top sports car, private jet, equestrian and golf, high-end property, tourism and diversified lifestyle varieties in the exhibition area of Shanghai Expo Park, with a view to correctly attract elites. In addition, the incomparable diversity and openness of Shanghai Expo Park will surely attract the strong interest and wide participation of the general public.
Concept 3, marine art. The marine culture and art exhibition area is located in the 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum (former Shanghai Expo French Pavilion), whereby static exhibition and dynamic exhibition promoting marine artistic works will be hosted to enhance the friendliness and recognition of the public about marine culture, especially the youth. Beyond that, sessions of marine strategy forum and conservation salon will be organized, whereby famous marine experts and international ocean conservation organizations will interact and communicate with visitors to advocate marine protection.
The Yachting Shanghai is truly a colorful rendez-vous covering a wide array of fields, ranging from single yacht test drive and trial voyage, the creation of yachting forum and multi-theme marine forum, through the exhibition of high-end lifestyle products in the exhibition area, to cultural, sports, artistic and entertainment projects under the marine theme.
With a compound transition from a yachting party for the rich to the popular marine festival, the 2015 Yachting Shanghai The International Marine Festival is committed to boosting the healthy development of China’s yacht ecological chain, which is definitely fitting against the background of the Marine Silk Road strategy and favorable policies of Shanghai Free Trade Zone. A comprehensive marine festival is bound to emerge on the horizon.