Published: Tuesday, 08 October 2013
Mike Fulton

The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) has signed a long-term agreement to support the International Boat Show and Festival (IBSF),  a new four-day boat show commencing 17 October at the Serenity Marina, Sanya, Hainan Island in China. This state-of-the-art marina was specially built to welcome the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race.

The show will focus on mid-range boats from 10 to 15 meters and small craft for water sport promotion. The Show and Festival is organized by the Hainan New Century Cultural Industry Investment & Development Co. Ltd. assisted by the Beijing-based China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association (CCYIA), both members of  ICOMIA.

In response to the challenging economic times in the traditional markets, ICOMIA has been seeking opportunities to assist the marine industry, in particular the boat builders, and has consequently focused on China. Few would argue that it is the market with the greatest potential. The country is huge with an emerging middle class with improving disposable income.

Sanya To Host New Boat Show

The organizers want to encourage creation of national pavilions for exhibiting boats by ICOMIA’s members. China has so many boat shows, currently 39 in total. It is impractical for ICOMIAS to get involved in all these shows and so they have chosen to support just one, the IBSF.

“If we all concentrate on one well-organised and well financed show in a prime location we have the best chance of success and the least risk,”said Topny Rice, ICOMIA’s Secretary General.

There is significant national and provincial government support for the International Boat Show and Festival. The Chinese Government has a policy of promoting water sports and the development of boating is an integral part of the Provincial Government’s plans for the island.

Hainan lies at the southwest corner of the Chinese mainland. Thanks to its semi-tropical climate, mangrove forests, coral reefs and golden beaches, it has become the holiday destination for wealthy Chinese and welcomes 800,000 foreign visitors each year. Sanya, situated at the southeast corner of the island, is the main tourist centre.  

 “Market research concluded that a show in Hainan would be very successful as Chinese consumers want to purchase well established ‘Western’ brands. This way ICOMIA can best serve the interests of the global marine industry, its MIAs and their members and offers an opportunity to establish a showcase for international boat builders,” added Rice