Chairman’s Message September 2020

Virtual boat shows and online webinars are a way of life now, and go some way to keeping us connected, but it’s not the same as the sensational buzz that you get when attending events like the Monaco Yacht Show!

Online, it is hard to replicate the atmosphere of hanging out in Port Hercules, with hundreds of superyachts competing for attention and the intense industry buzz that surrounds it all; not to mention the spontaneity of meeting clients & business acquaintances on the dock and all of the business that this unexpected meetings can bring. However, there are some beautiful yachts out there to be seen even virtually and, in this newsletter, the next generation of expedition superyacht yachts are on display: B.Yond by Benetti, and OCEA Commuter 50.

There have been some benefits to staying home, and Asian boat owners have discovered that they have some of the best cruising grounds, right on their doorstep. Hong Kong continues to be upbeat about boating, with Simpson Marine having sold 80 yachts in the last few months, including eight SanLorenzos.

Many of us are reduced to just dreaming of superyachts while travel restrictions continue to keep us grounded. Fortunately, there are some changes on the horizon: Thailand has just introduced a 90-day Special Tourist Visa, Gordon Fernandes from Asia Pacific Superyachts is lobbying the Thai government to make quarantining on a superyacht an option, and ‘travel bubbles’ will hopefully kickstart a greater freedom of movement around the region.

Travel has become more of a challenge than a pleasure these days, and Travel Cue offers some advice on how to navigate the globe during these times of Covid-19. Meanwhile, Swiss Ocean and Vikand have teamed up to create a concrete and effective Covid-19 program for charter and private yachts.

Andrew Morgan, CEO of Affinity Group, believes that there are brighter times ahead. Several potential superyacht acquisitions were lined up for earlier in the year but were unable to complete during the height of the lockdown for various reasons – and these are now back in the process of completion.

 Another success was the Asia Boating Dialogue where 12 industry experts from the Asian regions participated in a free two-session webinar that focuses on the business of boating. High attendance shows the strong interest in the Asian boating scene, and APSA will be back in contact soon with details of its own webinar series. It seems that even if the virtual boat shows cannot replicate a real boat show, a webinar can certainly do well in replacing a seminar or conference.

Lastly, CharterWorld give us five good reasons why we should charter in the Asia Pacific Region… but we already know that cruising in the Asia Pacific region is one of the world’s best kept yachting secrets. This ‘secrecy’ is something that needs to change, and APSA continues its mission to do so!


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