The Singapore Yacht Show is finally able to celebrate its 10th edition after it has been postponed due to the current worldwide situation related to Covid19. The show will take place at ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove from 15th – 18th October 2020 and we have spoken to the organisers to find out more about the preparations and the event during these challenging times.
How is the event different this year compared to previous years when it comes to the number of exhibitors or the layout of the show?
The Covid-19 situation has disrupted our bigger-scale plans somewhat for our 10th Anniversary edition, but our venue host, ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove, has been completely re-designed and rejuvenated. It won’t quite all be finished in time for the show, but the part we are using is already completed. We will be unveiling some long-awaited new developments and changes to the layout that will elevate the experience for exhibitors, sponsors and visitors alike. For the very first time, for example, the whole yacht show will be moved onto the water, with no more big exhibition tents on the adjacent grass areas. Instead, thanks to the new pontoon configuration, SYS will feature air-conditioned exhibition booths and showrooms all around the perimeter of the marina – so that visitors can go straight to the heart of the action for an immersive, 360-degree experience.
What precautions has the SYS adopted in the current pandemic?
We are working with the Singapore Tourism Board and the Ministry of Health on the protective procedures we will need to implement at this year’s show. We are planning for all the health screenings, heightened security and social distancing procedures that the government is advising. Like every other event organiser, we are naturally determined to protect every single individual fully – exhibitors, partners, sponsors, contractors and visitors alike – involved in any way at the Show.
For visitors who cannot attend all four days, what attractions would you most recommend visiting?
Definitely the show-stopping yachts that are coming to the Show! Currently, we have a 50-meter yacht arriving next month, which will be presented for viewing at SYS by potential charterers, as well as a 40-meter classic Heesen, and at least one, maybe two, 50-meter Phinisis. We also potentially have an 85m yacht calling in (she will only just fit in the marina!!) on her way to Hong Kong, and there are several beautiful new yachts debuting in the region at SYS 2020 – including Iliad 50 Catamaran, presented by Multihull Solutions, and a Ferretti 670 and Ferretti 720 by Ferretti Group.
When it comes to yachting around the area, could you tell us about the Singapore charter grounds: Are there any hidden gems and must-see attractions?
With Singapore providing a convenient gateway to world-class yachting in azure blue seas, it’s perfectly possible to explore destinations ranging from the high-end luxury resorts of Phuket through to Myanmar’s pristine Mergui Archipelago, which remains one of the world’s best-kept secrets, and beyond. You can sail from Singapore to the Anambas Islands in Indonesia in a day, arriving in a little piece of heaven that nobody knows about.
Why should Scuba diving or fishing enthusiasts (beginners and experienced) consider Singapore/Southeast Asia for a luxury yacht charter?
Scuba diving and fishing enthusiasts should definitely consider SEA for a luxury yacht charter. The cruising grounds are spectacular, starting from Myanmar down to Thailand, through East Malaysia, the Philippines and all the way to Indonesia. The entire stretch is beautiful and uncrowded. Indonesia alone has over 17,500 islands, many of which are completely untouched. The culture and biodiversity of Asia–Pacific is its single biggest strength; it’s a region unlike any other and this should be both celebrated and cherished.
There have been a few recent launches of luxury yachts in Asia – what do you see for the future of the industry in the region?
We never really know which superyachts are going to be able to attend the show until much closer to the date – it totally depends on the owner’s willingness to let his builder or broker use the boat for the show. This is usually determined by whether or not he has a charter booked – and they will always wait till the very last minute in case they can get one, so we can’t confirm them for the show.
Charter income is fundamental to the running of a large yacht, as it helps mitigate the enormous annual costs, and the fact that they still can’t charter in this region because of outdated and counter-productive tax rules is a source of enormous frustration to us all.
Interestingly enough, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly caused the Thai government to stop and think about this at last. The idea of foreign superyachts bringing tens of thousands of seriously wealthy tourists spending $500K a week for a holiday is suddenly more appealing than keep accepting tens of millions of package tourists who give all their spending money to middlemen in their home country.
We at SYS have been actively engaged from the beginning in trying to get these changes implemented, as it’s vital for the development of the whole industry, and we believe we will finally see many more large yachts coming here in the near future. This will instantly change the shape of the Show – a lot more superyachts and boats of all kinds and sizes, a lot more revenue for the marina, and a lot of opportunities for local businesses to make money. It will also enable affluent lifestyle seekers from all around Asia to go yachting for the first time, and discover this beautiful region from the water.
For the yachting industry and the yachting enthusiasts, would you recommend any other shows in the region and why?
Despite the current chaos, we have at last been able to launch the new Hong Kong Yacht Show, completing the vital northern point of the Asian yachting market “golden triangle” and we are hopeful that the rescheduled Singapore Yacht Show in October, closely followed by the new Hong Kong Show in November and the Thailand Yacht Show in January 2021, will give the industry the boost it will badly need by then.
- Singapore Yacht Show 15 – 18 October 2020
- Hong Kong Yacht Show 19 – 22 November 2020
- Thailand Yacht Show 7 – 10 January 2021