Phuket Boat Show closes on high note

Travel News Asia 15 December 2005

As PIMEX 2005 closed on Sunday 11 December, exhibitors were in excellent mood. At least 12 boats were sold during the show and initial estimates of solid sales achieved amount to approximately US$4 million. Dealers and brokers all reported new contacts made and strong leads to follow up from serious buyers.

I have not stopped talking to serious visitors since the show opened on Thursday, said an elated but weary Craig Murphy of Sunseeker dealers, Max Marine Asia at the shows Farewell to Exhibitors party.

Nor was the upbeat mood restricted to yacht sales. We have made better contacts here than we have at other shows in Asia, said Jim Scott, general manager, West Australia, of Sea Slip Marinas, adding that he believed Phuket was the best place for a regional show. Along with every exhibitor in the Australian group, Mr Scott confirmed that he will be back for PIMEX 2006, while Australias Boatings Leading Accessories (BLA) plan to return with double the booth space.

One of the most exciting aspects of PIMEX is the opportunity for local companies and overseas exhibitors to network in one of Asias fastest-growing marine leisure markets. During PIMEX eight new dealerships/agencies were established.

Amongst local marine products exhibitors, Gareth Twist of Yacht Solutions said, We are marketing new products and have had a very good response during PIMEX. We will be back next year. Yacht Solutions made the last sale of the show, to a buyer who rushed in minutes after official closing time to purchase a life raft, while one exhibitor was forced to rush back to Bangkok during the show to organize more stock to cope with the pace of sales.

Property exhibitors generally reported a lively show, with many taking visitors out of the show for site visits. We didnt actually close a sale during PIMEX, said Jeanette Skelton of Royal Phuket Marina, but we met many people who were planning to move to Phuket and we were able to take them next door to show them around Royal Phuket Marina. Ms Skelton is confident that sales will result.

PIMEX organizers continued the tradition of awarding a prize for the Best Booth in the show, noting overall effort and appearance as the award criteria. This year, for the first time, the prize went to a non-marine exhibitor. Oriental Gardens by Immobilien Plus (Asia), a small development of five exclusive villas at Ao Yon on the south of the island, were deemed to have put outstanding effort into their presentation and received a certificate valued at US$1,250.

According to the organizers, the concept of meaningful awards is one they wish to develop, and are working towards this end with a prominent regional publisher. PIMEX has developed a reputation as a serious boating and lifestyle show, said Grenville Fordham of organizers Image Asia Events, adding, While we are able to put more boats in the water than any other regional show, we are not renowned for surface gloss. When we put an awards programme in place together with our media partner, it will be based on industry recognition of leading players.

PIMEX 2005 saw just over 4,000 visitors attend the show during four days, 2,300 of which were registered as trade visitors. We are disappointed that we did not reach our target of 6,000 visitors, said Image Asias Andy Dowden during his farewell party speech. However, we will keep working on our marketing programme targeted at Bangkok. This is a long term approach, and we are confident that it will eventually bring results as this new market becomes more aware of yachting.

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