8th March 2011 marks the first ever Superyacht Social Meet organized by Ensign Media and Superyacht TV was invited to attend the inaugural session. Aimed at raising the profile of superyachts in Singapore, the event brought together approximately 100 people from the property, luxury, and superyacht industries.
Superyacht TV speaks to Terry Black, the Chief Executive Officer of Ensign Media, about the purpose behind holding this social meet. “We hope to raise the profile of superyachts in Singapore,” he answers, pointing out that Helm, Superyacht Asia Pacific magazine is the only magazine in Asia focusing on superyachts.
Simon Turner, Director of Northrop and Johnson, is enthusiastic about the potential of having such a social meet. “We were having a chat, a group of us, and 3 years ago there was nothing like this in Singapore. It’s a sign of how the industry has changed here, and in the region.” He shares his astonishment at having met a yacht builder in Singapore – something he did not even know existed.
Having owners of yachts, property, and luxury brands at the event complements the presence of industry professionals at the event, he says. Comparing the vast different in markets, Mr. Turner goes on to talk about how you can find more yachts in a marina in Fort Lauderdale, United States of America, than the whole of Asia, and that it is something achievable “stage by stage.”
Although it might take years for Asia to catch up to its counterparts in Europe and the United States of America, the region carries tremendous potential. This can be seen from the increased presence of yacht brokerages and manufacturers coming to Asia and having proficient industry professionals will create more superyacht buyers because now, there are people to reach out to these high-net-worth individuals.
As the superyacht industry in Asia grows, the focus will involuntarily turn to China as an ideal place for yacht building. According to Mr. Turner, it will take time for China to learn how to build yachts, and the transfer of skill sets is more important than lowered labor costs. If there are more collaborations between the East and the West, he feels that China will build a greater number of superyachts.
Clare Wray, Sales and Sponsorship Manager with Informa Yacht Group, explains the company’s long-term vision for Asia and Singapore. Although the objective is to get European and American owners of yachts to cruise into Asia, Ms. Wray says that there is also a need for high-net-worth individuals in the region to cultivate the yachting lifestyle.