By SIRIVISH TOOMGUM
Dowden, who was the co-founder and former organiser of the Phuket International Boat Show (Pimex), said the luxury market was showing continued growth through the Southeast Asian region, and the regional marine market was benefiting from the increasing number of Chinese and Russian investors buying property and yachts.
While it is difficult to figure out the value of the marine and luxury lifestyle market in Southeast Asia, he said that Phuket alone boasted four marinas for over 1,000 yachts, plus another 500 to 1,000 visiting yachts each year.
“Certainly the number of millionaire-plus customers is increasing rapidly, especially in Singapore. However Phuket remains the favoured location for cruising and often as a base for the yachts, given the varied direct access by air,” he said. He added that most of the yacht buyers were also looking at villas or already have one.
Dowden said that most yacht buyers at Thailand’s Pimex were Western, but there was the beginning of a demand from Asian buyers in recent years.
One of Asia’s fast growing organisers, Asia Rendezvous Pte, will hold the inaugural Phuket Rendezvous at the Royal Phuket Marina from January 4 to 7, 2018. It will replace Pimex, which has been conducted in Phuket over the past 14 years. Phuket Rendezvous will be an annual event in early January each year.
Building on the success of Pimex, the Phuket Rendezvous is set to be one of the must-visit events in Phuket’s calendar, the organisers said, noting its full programme of yachting activities, fashion shows, art exhibitions, food and wine tastings, plus business networking opportunities.
Dowden added that Asia Rendezvous Pte was planning to launch a Penang Rendezvous yachting and luxury lifestyle show in 2018.