By Maarten Janssen
The organisers of the new yacht charter show for Asia have announced the postponement of the first edition. The event was scheduled to take place 12-15 February in Phuket Yacht Haven Marina, however, in a joint statement, the marina owners and the show organisers said that in the current conditions, due to circumstances beyond their control, it would be preferable to postpone the opening of the Show to a later date.
One of the important reasons for the delay is that in the last week or so there has been a positive exchange with Thai Government officials indicating significant support for the new show later in the year - and, importantly, for a proposal from the Show's organisers and local industry representatives to increase the number of superyachts coming to Thai waters from the Mediterranean for the winter season. The government has subsequently announced that it intends to promote Phuket as an international yachting hub, and these discussions will hopefully progress quickly now
Andy Treadwell, managing director of organisers 3L Events, explains: "Both my team and the Yacht Haven Marina team have all worked really hard to get the Show off the ground this year. It's a massive project, and a highly significant one for yachting in Asia, but we all agree that it would be better to delay until conditions are perfect." He continues: "What is most important is the fantastic interest the event's launch has sparked in the industry – we can see it's going to become a key event, and a real catalyst for the development of the yachting industry here. And the main point was the focus on charter, so it's also exciting to have had a positive reaction from the Thai Government – this could give a serious boost to the industry worldwide."
Jean Phataraprasit, of Phuket Yacht Haven Marina, added: "We are delighted that there seems to be a lot of positivity about yachting tourism and support for these initiatives coming from the government of Thailand now. It's fundamental to the important investment we have made in this project that Phuket remains the superyacht hub for Asia, and we're excited that the marina at Yacht Haven with its new clubhouse, and the international-scale show that Andy's team is planning, will be at the forefront of development of the yachting industry here."
The momentum for promoting charter in the region is not being slowed, however. For the moment the focus is simply being moved to the Asia Pacific Yachting Conference and the Singapore Yacht Show which run consecutively 21-26 April.