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The Year of the Dragon Dawns on China’s Yachting Scene

It hardly seems like 16 short years ago that the China (Shanghai) International Boat Show (CIBS) was born in an underground car park, yet that is the case yet it has now grown into what is easily the biggest, most comprehensive and professionally run boat Show in the whole of Asia.

Last year’s show was beginning to groan at the seams so this year’s show, the 17th, has made a welcome, necessary and high profile move across the river to the site of the 2010 World Expo where CIBS will be displaying in a 25,000 sq m. pillar-less exhibition hall reaching to a height of almost 15m. In addition there is over 10,000 sqm of exterior exhibition space with on the water exhibition berthing close by.

The move to the former Expo site also removes one criticism of previous shows, that being the disconnect between the on the water show and the main show arena. With the show now on the banks of the Huangpu River, Shanghai’s mother river the two elements of the show are more closely linked.

Chinese buying power in the leisure marine industry has replaced that of Russia and the exhibitors have obviously realized that with over 90% of the venue sold out which is up over 25% on the same time last year. It only requires very simple mathematics to realize that they just wouldn’t have all fitted in the old venue.

That’s already 500 boats (over 25% increase on 2011) and 450 exhibitors committed to be in Shanghai from the 19th to 22nd April 2012 easily topping the numbers that any other show in the region can boast.

The show will include new launches, trends and designs with various on site activities and show events equaling or surpassing the variety of previous shows in this, the Pearl of the Orient.

Ferretti Group, a controlling interest of which has recently been acquired by Shangdong Heavy Industries Group will be there in force along with many of the world’s other top boat builders.

These include international exhibitors like Beneteau Group, Brunswick, Co, Azimut-Benetti, Fairline, Sunseeker & Princess to name but a few along many local brands.

With visitor numbers forecast to be up 30% on last year, a continuing trend many long term exhibitors will be strengthening their presence with the size of the Italian, Taiwanese and Australian pavilions increased, Japan and Spain remaining committed to the show with their own pavilions and Florida exhibiting with their own pavilion for the first time.

As before the show will incorporate a forum, leisure boating awards, regatta in support of a local charity.

And it’s not all just for show, in 2011 on site sales and orders topped the RMB 1Bn mark and City of Shanghai has just over 130,000 millionaires (USD) only topped by Beijing. Add to that the adjoining provinces of Jiangsu to the North and ZheJiang to the South which are not far being in terms of wealth and the Shanghai Show has a greater potential boat buying public just a car drive away than any other boat show in Asia, perhaps the world.

The China (Shanghai) International Boat Show is coming of age – and it isn’t even 18 yet.  


For more information please visit China International Boat Show.

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