Photography by Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show
The organisers of the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show (OMPBS) have released confident predictions for this year’s event, which will be the sixth edition of the yachting showcase taking place in this Gulf of Thailand boating hub.
Figures released by the show’s management suggest that over 2 billion baht (approximately AU$76 million) of trade could be generated by the 2017 edition, which will be taking place 23-26 November at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club. An estimated 6,000 visitors are expected to attend over the four days.
The Show says that its confidence is bolstered by a growing trend for local clientele to charter boats as well as a growing base of charter companies local to the Gulf of Thailand and increasing prevalence of visiting superyachts thanks to the easing in Thailand’s charter regulations over recent years. By example, in the first half of 2017, on average 18,000 took day trips to the nearby islands from Ocean Marina Yacht Club each month, an increase of 60 percent year-on-year.
The Thai Government has recognised the potential value to its economy by attracting greater numbers of luxury yachts, and is aiming to make the country the marina hub of ASEAN.
Traditionally, the waters to the west of the country have been more frequented by foreign-flagged superyachts, but the marinas and companies based within the Gulf of Thailand are looking to share in this increased leisure marine traffic through development of services and infrastructure.
Thailand’s east coast has huge leisure potential. The natural marine assets are relatively untouched and, following changes by the Customs Department last year, we are receiving more enquiries from international pleasure boats and superyachts who wish to berth themselves in Pattaya and discover the Gulf of Thailand,” said the Club’s Harbour Master, Scott Finsten.
While the local market is showing an increasing interest in the boating lifestyle, Pattaya also recorded strong growth in visitor numbers and spending patterns in the first half of the year. Figures from the Tourism Authority of Thailand showed a year-on-year increase in spending of 15 percent in Pattaya.
Pattaya is showing strong growth in visitor arrivals and receipts, and is central to the development of the country’s Eastern Economic Corridor. Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show has an important role to play in this, being the leading platform for marine businesses to promote their products and services to a domestic and international audience,” said Ocean Property’s Managing Director, Dr Tirachai Pipitsupaphol.
The OMPBS covers over 20,000 square metres of onshore and in-water exhibition space, with vessels ranging from small day boats priced at under 1 million baht (AU$38,000) to luxury superyachts valued at more than AU$ 7.6 million.
There is also range of marine products and service providers exhibiting, both from companies based within Thailand as well as abroad. Charter as well as brokerage activity will be covered by the participating companies. Following the trend for boat shows to draw exhibits from complementary luxury segments, there will also be luxury cars and property on display, as well as hands-on experiential displays for visitors to try water sports and toys.