3:42 PM Wed 26 Oct 2011 GMT
Tomorrow the inaugural Macau Yacht Show launches itself with an Opening Ceremony and Gala Dinner. With ever more numerous Yacht Shows and Boat Shows trying to elbow each other off the edge of the Asian chart in recent years, the real question is not 'why?', but why nobody has done this in Macau before. After all, the Macau Special Administrative Region of China is the epicenter of gambling in Asia, turning over more money in its casinos than Las Vegas.
And where there is lots of cash, there are lots of things to buy - especially expensive things. Like the jewellery that fills the windows of the Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and other high end stores just a carat's throw from the casinos. And with China producing new millionaires at an exponential rate (as we are continually reminded) what better place could there be to show off some conspicuously expensive floating real estate.
Enter the Nam Kwong (Group) Company Ltd (an enormous PRC-run/Macau-based entity that includes China Travel Services, a hotel group, dockyards, dry and frozen warehouses, frozen foods and petroleum products). Add in the Macau Convention & Exhibition Association (MCEA), motto: 'To Serve, Represent, Coordinate and Communicate', and then include the China Ocean Aviation Group Corp, China Automotive Industry Int Corp, Fujian Auto China Conference & Exhibition Co, and the Fuzhou Auto Yachts Management Co Ltd, and it sounds like a recipe for a very expensive party.
Entertainment central will be the Rocks Hotel, right at the end of the newly-renovated Fisherman's Wharf piers. In addition to the Gala Dinner, visitors to the Show are promised a Bikini Party 'with 50 super models from home and abroad', a Motorboat Show by the National Youth Team, and a Yacht Baby Show. Whether there is any connection between the first and last items is not entirely clear, but we'll keep you posted - and keep you posted about the Motorboat Show as well.
For an inaugural event the organisers have done a good job of lining up some quality exhibitors. Locally familiar names such as Simpson Marine, Kingsway Marine, Princess Yachts and Starship Yachts will be joined on the dock by China Pacific Marine, Jet-Tern Marine, King'O Yachts and Prout Catamarans. Newer local manufacturers including Ocean Resources, Novatec Yacht, Sunbird and IAG. In case all the talk gives you a dry mouth, the Three Oceans Wine Co will be on hand to assist. The Suzhou Zhong-ou Auto Co ('high class business vehicles and luxurious motorhomes') will be able to offer respite for weary feet, and the Bank of China will arrange financing for your next Sunseeker (or Bentley).
'Senior' boat show in China is undoubtedly CIBS Shanghai, but that has in recent years suffered from lack of in-water facilities (to be fixed, as of 2012). Macau certainly has the berthing space, and it also has easy international access, on-location accommodation for exhibitors and visitors alike, plenty of potential customers who can actually afford what they are looking at, and - very importantly - familiarity with overseas visitors. If Nam Kwong and MCEA get the recipe right, the Macau Yacht Show could very quickly establish itself as a regional market leader. Watch this space - we'll let you know over the next few days.
by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia