China yacht market will take time to develop
Published: Friday, 05 April 2013
CRN President Lamberto Tacoli recently mentioned that growing the yacht market in China will take time. Tacoli, who was interviewed at the just concluded Hainan Rendezvous, also sees potential markets in Africa and other countries in Asia.
“Africa is a hot area now. We see strong demand from Angola, Nigeria and South Africa. We think that in about 10 years, Africa will become the new China,” Tacoli said. “In Asia, Malaysia and Singapore are coming on well. We are also hopeful about markets in Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Shenzhen. However, when dealing with China you need to be patient, spend the time and wait for the results,” he added.
Tacoli said CRN recently sold one yacht in China to a customer in Hong Kong. The Chinese authorities require so much paperwork. "Last year we wanted to take some potential customers in Hainan for a short trip, and we had to get the names of passengers and their passports way in advance."
A shortage of skilled workers, like captains and chefs, in China is also hampering the yachting industry's development. "The marinas are also often not in luxury locations. One has to park among fishing boats and they are far away from shopping areas or high-end hotels," he said.
Tacoli acknowledged that Hainan was the 'main event' in China, but said that four or five Asian boating festivals is too many. "Italy was the same before, every town wanted its own boating festival," he said. "I think we should have two for each continent. Even then, that means we have to go off almost every month if we wanted to attend them all. Believe me, we need time to build boats as well."
The CRN chief believes that China will slowly adopt the yachting lifestyle. "Asians are not that keen on the seas, unlike the Mediterraneans," he said. “They like to go out with umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun. Culture changes will happen very gradually. Our mission is to help change the culture and encourage people to enjoy the sea."