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ICOMIA Aims To Facilitate Yachtbuilders' Push East

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

31 January 2013

The International Council of Maritime Industry Associations has announced the conclusion of a long-term partnership agreement with one of its members for the launch of an annual four-day boat show at Serenity Marina, Hainan Island, off mainland China.

The International Boat Show and Festival will be co-organized by the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association and will focus on mid-range boats (of between ten to fifteen meters) and small water-sport craft.

Pointing to the logistical and linguistic barriers to entry to the Chinese market, Tony Rice, ICOMIA's Secretary General explained that, with the new fixture, ICOMIA aims to support foreign yacht and equipment manufacturers' efforts to target the rapidly-growing Chinese market, with its huge population and emerging middle class.

"There are so many boat shows in China, currently 39 in total, that it is impractical for the industry to participate and get involved in them all," explained Rice. "We need to unify, and together support this one show. If we all concentrate in one well-organized and well-financed show in a prime location we have the best chance of success and the least risk - in other words; better together."

"Significant market research has concluded that a show based in Hainan offers an excellent chance of success and that the Chinese consumer wants to purchase well established 'Western' brands. This is a carefully considered strategy to best serve the interests of the established global marine industry, its Marine Industry Associations and their members and offers an opportunity to establish a showcase for our boatbuilders."

Hainan, a key holiday destination for Chinese and foreign tourists, lies at the south-east corner of the Chinese mainland and is equivalent in size to Belgium. The venue chosen is in the main tourism area of the island to maximize footfall.

Serenity Marina is a state-of-the-art marina, with berths for up to 330 yachts, built specially for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. The Marina is within the immediate vicinity of Sanya Pheonix International Airport, simplifying attendance for local prospective buyers and exhibitors alike.

TAGS: marine

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