The show, running 22-24 November, targets the marine leisure industry and includes marine and lifestyle exhibitors, showcasing Pattaya and the surrounding area as a hub for marine tourism in south-east Asia. It is expected that the show will attract over 100 exhibitors and visitor numbers are expected to reach approximately 3,000. A reported THB 90 million in revenue was generated by the show in 2012.
Although not catering specifically to just the superyacht industry, organisers told SuperyachtNews.com that marine brands such as Nautor's Swan, Azimut/Azimut Grande and Princess will be represented at the show as well as brokerage yachts. However, the show “provides a unique platform for marine tourism/ lifestyle businesses in the region,” said Duncan Worthington, business development manager for Infinity Communications, the communications agency for the show. “[Last year’s show] was a great success. The organisers understood the work required to get a show such as this off the ground, and were realistic in their goals. Having received a lot of positive feedback, this second year is looking to be bigger and better and is supported by a multi-million Thai baht advertising and communications campaign to further raise awareness.
“Its close proximity to the nation's capital, Bangkok, gives it a strategic advantage over other shows and will attract HNWI's based in Bangkok who have an interest in, or are curious about, the marine lifestyle. This lifestyle is relatively new to Thais but the level of interest is growing rapidly and with a large number of Thai US dollar millionaires based in Bangkok, the marine industry has a strong future.”
to become a south-east Asia yachting hub.
Recognising this potentially strong future, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has initiated a strategy to promote high-end tourism in Pattaya, working closely with the marine tourism sector on Thailand’s east coast.
“Ocean Marina have been very active with introducing respective TAT personnel to the marine industry, assisting them with a greater awareness of what the industry involves, its benefits and also supporting the authority with statistics where possible,” explained Worthington. “TAT has noted the importance of marine tourism in the country and now has a department tasked with attracting more high-end tourists, and marine tourism falls within the remit of this department.
“They are currently developing specific strategies, though at this stage their immediate plans are to increase the number of international exhibitions they exhibit at, and they intend to organise marine delegations to exhibit with them to showcase the Gulf of Thailand (and Thailand as a whole) to the international community.
“The show, together with the TAT and the local marine industry in the Gulf, are putting the region on the map, and over the medium and long-term the area will attract more and more international yachts and superyachts, and marine leisure tourists.”
For superyachts Ocean Marina has 330 berths and can accommodate yachts up to 54m, with 80 additional berths being added to the marina in the first quarter of 2014. “The region is easily navigable and includes some stunning anchorages,” said Worthington. “With limited exposure to the main tourist market, many of the islands in the Gulf of Thailand are untouched and offer visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy nature. Coupled with easy access from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Ocean Marina is in a key position to service the visiting superyachts.”