Today, SuperyachtNews can exclusively reveal that both SYBAss and LYBRA have withdrawn from participation from Monaco Yacht Show 2020. A letter sent to Informa, and seen by SuperyachtNews, explains that both associations, who acted cooperatively through this process, have doubts over the safety of the show, the ability and/or willingness for clients to attend and whether the show is appropriate within the context of the global pandemic. The letter further outlines general discontent with how the show has been run in recent years. SYBAss accounts for 20 of the world’s premier superyacht manufacturers and LYBRA accounts for eight of the world’s leading superyacht brokerage houses.
“Throughout our industry, there has been much speculation as to whether the Monaco Yacht Show can take place this year. Lockdown arrangements across the globe currently vary and travel restrictions are extensive. It is clear that the necessity for social distancing will continue for the foreseeable future, but beyond that, the detail of the varying government-led restrictions in the coming months is unknown,” begins the letter.
"LYBRA and SYBAss members have reached a clear decision..."
“In this climate of uncertainty, however, both LYBRA and SYBAss members have reached a clear decision that they do not intend to participate in MYS 2020, even if it is able to go ahead in September as scheduled. Our reasons are twofold.”
The letter explains that neither SYBAss nor LYBRA believe that their target clients will attend, whether that be because of travel restrictions, or simply a diminished appetite to engage in such an event when it risks their health and the health of their families and friends. Both associations are refusing to engage in an event that they believe cannot guarantee the safety of their staff or clients, given that there are no-yet proven methods to prevent the risk and spread of COVID-19. The parties further query whether or not it is appropriate for such a luxury event, a celebration of wealth, to continue when the rest of the world continues to suffer through the pandemic.
"We simply cannot be investing such significant sums at this time...."
“Secondly, our industry faces a new environment going forward. We simply cannot be investing such significant sums at this time into an event that looks likely to provide us with even less of an ROI than recent years and with an organiser that has consistently refused to listen to the voices of its most important players – the exhibitors,” continues the letter.
The letter expresses growing concern that, for several years, the partnership between the organisers of the event and the exhibitors has soured and become imbalanced. While costs have increased, return on investment has become harder to measure, it states. Nevertheless, the letter clearly indicates that both SYBAss and LYBAA wish to continue supporting the show in the future, under the proviso that the organisers re-engage with the market via a working group to constructively discuss the future of the show and how it can grow and evolve to better suit the requirements of the exhibitors and indeed the customers that attend. However, in the short term SYBAss and LYBRA implore MYS to cancel the 2020 edition.
"...we request that Informa take stock of the situation and consider cancelling the show.”
It reads: “With the non-participation of LYBRA and SYBAss members likely resulting in a deterioration of exhibiting yachts, major industry companies no longer being present at the show, and the potential negative perception of the superyacht industry by the general public, we request that Informa take stock of the situation and consider cancelling the show.”
“From my perspective I think it would be unsuitable to have a boat show, but I want to use the fact that this is the case to sit around the table and work out what we should be doing in the future, and that dialogue needs to get moving,” comments Michael Breman, sales director at Lürssen. “The reason we are doing this is to bring the show forward so that it actually achieves what it professes to. For years we have been trying to address this situation, but they are prisoners of their own success. The letter is a positive letter; it is asking Informa to do the right thing and the right thing is to not have the show.”
There has been much speculation in recent weeks about the viability of Monaco Yacht Show 2020. With the show’s organisers refusing to take action or heed the advice of the superyacht industry, it seems as though the market has made the decision for them.
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