Following a partnership agreement recently signed with the Marine Department of Thailand’s Ministry of Transport, organisers SYE Pte Ltd, who also stage the annual Singapore Yacht Show each April, are thrilled to announce that the inaugural Phuket Yacht Show, now re-christened the Thailand Yacht Show, will take place from February 11 to 14, 2016 at Ao Po Grand Marina, nestled in the fantastic Phuket yacht holiday location. The event represents the first superyacht charter show in South East Asia.
The new event dedicated to luxury yacht charter is set to be publicly announced at an international press conference and private launch party, to be hosted by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok on September 16, 2015. It was his own initiative to create an international Yacht Show for Thailand, and make Phuket the principal hub for superyachts in Asia. The proceedings will be hosted by the majestic Norman Foster-designed 41m charter yacht Ocean Emerald – the first vessel awarded the new Superyacht Charter Licence. She will be docked alongside an exclusive waterfront venue in Bangkok for the evening.
Recent months have been marked by the building of momentum and interest in Thailand’s superyacht charter potential, following discussions between key players in the local yachting community, including SYE, and the country’s Ministry of Transport, which resulted in last month’s landmark announcement of a new licence for foreign-flagged superyachts to charter in Thai waters.
Andy Treadwell, founder and owner of SYE, comments on the official announcement: “With superyacht charter now being legalised in Thailand – indeed, made very welcome! – and with the Government and all the other stakeholders aligned, the time is right for us to launch the new Yacht Show with industry-wide support. Ao Po Grand Marina is a perfect location for the event and we look forward to providing this new, crucial platform to capitalise on Thailand’s stated objective of becoming the principal yachting destination hub for Asia.”
Boasting spectacular cruising grounds, the increasingly popular Phuket is strategically located for yachts coming from the Mediterranean to visit South East Asia and the Pacific beyond. It is considered the main infrastructural ‘hub’ for large yachts cruising the region, with over 100 superyacht berths available between the Ao Po Grand Marina and Phuket Yacht Haven alone, as well as ample first class service companies.
Thanks to the new licence, superyacht charter is now effectively open up in the entire region, representing a significant financial incentive for many overseas owners considering bringing their yachts to South East Asia at the end of the summer season in the Mediterranean, instead of choosing the usual route West to the Caribbean. It offers Thailand, and the rest of Asia Pacific too, an important tool in its quest to become the third global yachting destination, with Phuket at its epicentre.
“Recent years have already seen a significant upswing in the number of foreign flagged yachts visiting Phuket, usually on the way to and from the rest of South East Asia, even without the ability to charter. This year already, over 75 superyachts cruised through Phuket alone. We want to encourage these yachts to stay for longer and use it as a base from which to charter, and we want more and more of them to come. We are therefore delighted to co-host the new Thailand Yacht Show in Phuket, which we have conceived as a platform for owners and brokers to bring yachts to Thailand and boost charter activity through interest from visitors,” comments Dr Chula Sukmanop, Director General of the Thailand Marine Department.
The Thailand Yacht Show is expected to host potential buyers as well as the luxury yacht charter brokerage community at the prestigious Ao Po Grand Marina, which has a capacity of 260 yachts up to 100m+ in length. At the same time, smaller yachts and boats, both new and pre-owned, will also be on display for sale as well as yacht charter.