Photography by Richard Dobson & Phil Blake
13 March 2017
The Thailand Yacht Show has announced dates of its 2017 edition, set for 14 to 17 December, once again taking place at the Ao Po Grand Marina in Phuket.
The show organisers commented that the next edition of the Show will “tear up the traditional format” of yacht shows by creating a “360-degree experiential event that engages with visitors, VIPs, industry stakeholders and media in a four-day festival of on-water lifestyle and sport”.
The experiential elements will include sea-trial excursions, sunset cruises, water sports demonstrations and trials. Sporting activities will include P1 powerboat racing demonstrations, foiling catamaran yacht racing, stand-up paddle boarding and kite surfing. A 300-metre viewing platform will be created along the marina’s breakwater to allow visitors a perfect vantage point for the action on the water.
A number of local companies have already confirmed participation in this year’s edition, including Lee Marine, Boat Lagoon Yachting and Multihull Solutions, and there will be partners from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia, making it a truly regional event.
For this third edition of the Show, exposition areas will be moved closer to the water, the organisers have confirmed, with purpose-designed floating booths replacing the exhibition pavilion. The exhibition displays will be open from 3pm until 10pm, allowing visitors to enjoy the show away from the main heat of the day as well as to experience elegant evening events.
At the same time as the announcement, Andy Treadwell, CEO of 3L Events, which organises the Thailand Yacht Show, commented that he and other industry figures are continuing to put pressure on the Thai Government to relax charter regulations in the country and open up the market to more superyachts.
“The Thai Government fully understands the potential. Their vision is clear – to make Thailand a superyacht hub – but more importantly so is their desire, and this is being backed up by a lot of behind the scenes work by all the various departments involved. It takes time to change rules and regulations, and we in the industry need to understand that,” said Treadwell.
Although the Thai 12-month superyacht charter licence was created in September 2015, a number of issues are preventing uptake, including the need to temporarily import a foreign-flagged superyacht in order to qualify for the licence, meaning a charge of 7 percent of the yacht’s value to be paid as VAT to Thailand’s Revenue Department. Discussions are continuing on how to improve the rules, and the Ministry of Finance has tasked the Revenue Department to find a viable solution over the next three months, the Show’s organisers confirmed.
“Positioning Thailand as the superyacht hub of Asia and attracting more high and ultra-high net worth individuals is just Phase I of the Thai Government’s master plan. Thailand is really leading the way here – and other ASEAN countries will follow suit, since together, as a region, ASEAN offers cruising grounds that are unrivalled anywhere else in the world,” added Treadwell.