May Newsletter Chairman's Message 2020

As global travel restrictions and lockdowns continue to impact on the boating industry, it is very difficult to plan for the future. Recent news says that both the Cannes Yachting Festival and the Monaco Yacht Show will be taking place, but with severely restricted visitor numbers and strong implementation of social distancing measures. Two boat shows are also planned for Asia later in the year: the Singapore Yacht Show (15-18 October) and the Hong Kong Yacht Show (19-22 November). We will keep you posted as more news comes to hand.

In the meantime, numerous ‘webinars’ and ‘Zoom community’ meetings have sprung up, allowing people from all around the globe to remain connected and keep the information flowing freely. Virtual boat shows are another interesting development. The Azimut/ Benetti Virtual Lounge and E- Boat Show happening this weekend is a good example of this new direction – we are witnessing a change, or at least another option, in the way that boating communities will interact in the future.

They say that charity begins at home, and many in the superyacht community in Asia have been doing their part. ‘Well done’ and ‘thanks’ to both Catalano Shipping and Asia Pacific Superyachts, who have been supporting their local communities in this time of need. And on a cheery note, we are delighted to see a strictly positive outcome of this period - the reduction in pollution and a surge in wildlife activity. Phuket, Thailand's most popular resort island and a major tourist attraction in its own right, has been under strict lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. Wildlife researches have reported a positive impact on the local environment and marine conservation, with increased numbers of sea turtles, dolphins, dugongs and black tipped sharks. Evidently the complete absence of tourists has been a blessing for some!

As countries and locations around the world gradually relax lockdown restrictions and ease control measures, it is imperative that the members of the superyacht community support one another in every way possible in order to help the industry recover quickly and safely. It is pleasing and reassuring at this time to note that many APSA members are not only renewing their memberships, but that we are also gaining new members. With the support of our APSA members, we will be taking active steps to promote the Asia Pacific Region to the global superyacht community, both as the world’s third cruising destination and as a superyacht building and service location. Our first APSA event for the year is a tour of the Lantau Yacht Club in Hong Kong on 12 June. This newly renovated marina will be coming online soon, and will provide around 150 berths ranging from 10m to 60m, with over 38 berths designed for yachts above 30m. It will also be the first and perhaps the only marina in Hong Kong capable of accommodating superyachts alongside of 100m in length!

According to industry sources, brokerage opportunities are hotting-up in the region. With summer just around the corner (and many people unable to travel), boating has become the new recreational option for many Asians. Entertaining family and friends onboard is viewed as a safe option, and people are spending more and more time on their yachts. Some are even anchoring and staying on board overnight!

It’s been a tough start to the year, but as we learn to adapt and innovate, we can continue to create a meaningful platform to bring the superyacht community together!

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