16 years passed from the inaugural China (Shanghai) International Boat Show (CIBS) born in an underground car park, now known as the biggest, most comprehensive and professionally run yacht show in the whole Asia. Moving accross the river to the site of the 2010 World Expo the CIBS will be exhibiting in a 25,000 sq m. pillar-less exhibition hall reaching a height of almost 15m. Additionally, there is over 10,000 sqm of exterior exhibition space with on the water exhibition berthing.
The move to the former Expo site also removes one criticism of previous shows, that being the disconnection between the on water show and the main show arena. With the show now on the banks of the Huangpu River, Shanghai’s mother river the two elements of the show are more closely linked.
Chinese buying power in the leisure marine industry has replaced that of Russia and the exhibitors have obviously realized that with over 90% of the venue sold out which is up over 25% on the same time last year, it only requires very simple mathematics to realize that they just wouldn’t have all fitted in the old venue.
That’s already 500 yachts (over 25% increase on 2011) and 450 exhibitors committed to be in Shanghai from the 19th to 22nd April 2012 easily topping the numbers that any other show in the region can boast.
The show will include new launches, trends and designs with various on site activities and show events equaling or surpassing the variety of previous shows in the Pearl of the Orient.
Ferretti Group, a controlling interest of which has recently been acquired by Shangdong Heavy Industries Group will be there in force along with many other world’s top yacht builders.
With visitor numbers forecast to be up 30% on last year, many long term exhibitors will be strengthening their presence with the size of the Italian, Taiwanese and Australian pavilions increased, Japan and Spain remaining committed to the show with their own pavilions and Florida exhibiting with their own pavilion for the first time.
As before the show will incorporate a forum, leisure boating awards as well as yacht regatta in support of a local charity.
And it’s not all just for show, in 2011 on site sales and orders topped the RMB 1Bn mark and City of Shanghai has just over 130,000 millionaires (USD) only topped by Beijing. Add to that the adjoining provinces of Jiangsu to the North and ZheJiang to the South which are not far being in terms of wealth and the Shanghai Show has a greater potential yacht buying public just a car drive away than any other boat show in Asia, perhaps the world.
The China (Shanghai) International Boat Show is coming of age – and it isn’t even 18 yet.