Phuket, The Hub Of The Next Global Superyacht Destination
As we learn to live with Covid, Thailand, and more specifically Phuket, stands poised to be the hub of the next global superyacht destination, that being Southeast Asia. And what better way to showcase this wondrous destination than the Thailand International Boat Show (TIBS), to be staged at the award-winning and SHA Plus+ certified Royal Phuket Marina (RPM) from January 12-15, 2023. The show is organized by JAND Events and is the only boat show confirmed for the region in 2023; it will also be the only show to take in Southeast Asia since January of 2020.
David Hayes, the Chairman and CEO of the JAND Group, has dubbed the show “a luxury lifestyle event” and says RPM’s boardwalk will be teaming with restaurants and bars, and an exciting and extensive social programme. There also promises to be something for everyone at the Show, so it will be a good day out for the entire family. The JAND Group’s clients include such high-end brands as Givenchy, Hennessy, L’Oréal, Louis Vuitton, Kenzo and Moët and we hope to see some of them on display at this prestigious event.
The world’s most famous yachting brands will be showcased—both power and sail, as will a wide array of high-end yachting accessories. The 2,000sqm air-conditioned exhibition hall will be home to the latest in marine technology, gizmos and gadgets and a number of displays from high-end property developers.
JAND Events is also planning to have a superyacht pavilion, the first of its kind at any boat show in Thailand. Superyacht owners will have an exclusive villa and private pier to entertain guests, promote their superyachts and shuttle guests back and forth to their boats moored outside the marina.
Those craving a luxury lifestyle used to cruise the Mediterranean, the first global superyacht destination. While “the Med is not dead” —the area still remains beautiful—but space is at premium, and the shoreline is cluttered with chock-a-block resorts. The second global superyacht destination saw sailors, crew and their guests target the Caribbean. But, now, however, there’s a sense of “been there, done that” for both the Med, and the Caribbean.
Therein lies the lure of Southeast Asia – secluded anchorages, deserted islands and pristine beaches stretching from the Mergui Archipelago across Indonesia’s vast and beautiful island chain all the way to Papua New Guinea.
And before COVID hit, shorter travel times saw people from the West start to discover these out-of-the way and isolated anchorages and ports of call in Southeast Asia, and due to the legendary Thai hospitality and warmth they focused on Phuket as their base.
Those looking to have a superyacht holiday in the Land of Smiles include those who live in cold climates who want to get away when the climate in their own country is coldest. There are also a growing number of successful entrepreneurs who would like nothing better than to run an international business in comfort and style – from a yacht. Modern communications technology, as well as fast and inexpensive transport, makes this option available to an ever-growing number of entrepreneurs.
Part of the reason that people eye Phuket is because of their luxury lifestyle preferences, as onshore they can stay in architecturally brilliant homes nestled in remarkably beautiful natural surroundings. So infrastructure is important. And this is another area where Phuket wins high marks, offering respected international schools and hospitals as well as good international air connections and telecommunications. Throw into the mix distinguished chefs at international-standard restaurants, top-of-the-line golf courses, international sailing regattas, and the nightlife for which Thailand is renowned, and you’ve got a package that most people find quite attractive.
The Thai government has now taken steps to ensure that superyachts can stay in Thai waters for longer periods of time. Along with the 5-Gold Anchor Royal Phuket Marina, Phuket is also home to three other world-class marinas (Ao Po Grand Marina, Phuket Boat Lagoon, and Yacht Haven). And nearby Krabi province is also home to two top-notch marinas (Krabi Boat Lagoon and Port Takola Marina). All of these marinas offer either contractors on-site, or just a short call away, which can tend to almost any yacht repair or need.
Superyacht owners and their captains used to worry about having to repair their yacht in Southeast Asian waters if something were to happen to them. But there are enough good tradesmen now who can tend to and fix almost any mechanical, structural, or electric malfunction. And almost any type of food and beverage can be obtained from the companies here who cater exclusively to superyachts.
Phuket is an obvious choice to be the hub of the Southeast Asian superyacht world. It has been described as “a place that, although it may lie far from home, nevertheless feels like home.” The best of Thai hospitality will be on display at the Thailand International Boat Show. David Hayes and his team at JAND Events will make sure of it, and the global superyacht community will be watching.