he Phuket International Boat Show (PIMEX) opened to a gathering of island dignatories, VIPs and media. Officially opening the show with the traditional ribbon cutting on the boardwalk was PIMEX Show Director Mr. Andy Dowden, Mr. Maitri Inthusut, Governor of Phuket and Mr. Charnchai Duangchit, Director of TAT, Phuket Office. 2013 is the 10th year of "Asia's favourite boat show" and while the traditional boating markets of Europe and the USA continue to struggle in the current economic climate, Phuket is driving Asia's growth and continues to attract top international boat brands and marine products to exhibit. Pivotal to Asia's marine industry, Phuket is Asia's marine playground and has often been referred to as the "Monaco of the East". The island's well developed marine infrastructure and surrounding cruising grounds makes it the destination of choice to berth, maintain and enjoy a marine leisure lifestyle. The marine industry in Thailand continues to see strong growth with 15% yearon- year growth in marine leisure and tourism. PIMEX remains the key marketing platform for businesses in the region to market to international visitors from as far afield as Russia, Australia, China and beyond, and helps to generate over THB7 billion for the marine industry.
"PIMEX celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year and over the years we are proud the role PIMEX has had in helping to develop and promote Phuket and Asia's marine industry," commented Andy Dowden, PIMEX Show Director. "Together with marine and lifestyle businesses in Phuket and the region, PIMEX helps to position Phuket at the centre of Asia's booming marine industry, and Asia as the key growth area in the global industry." PIMEX 2013 showcased the best of marine and lifestyle in the region with a packed indoor Exhibition Hall and in-water display expecting to attract over 4,000 visitors and interested buyers.
Boats on display ranged from Blosson Uno, an Astonda 102 GLX being shown by Princess Yachts Thailand brokerage, which is the largest in the show this year, to trailer boats with every model, size and type in between. All the major boat brands from around the world are on display this year. PIMEX is, however, more than boats. The show includes a wide offering of marine products and services, engines, hardware, widgets, gadgets and marine toys, together with charter, boat builders, marinas and luxury property.
"There is something for everyone at this year's PIMEX. The in-water display is one of the best yet, and the packed Exhibition Hall offers an interesting mix of marine and lifestyle products and services. Combined with the delightful setting of the five-star Royal Phuket Marina, PIMEX offers four-days of entertainment and makes for a great family outing," added Dowden. PIMEX 2013 combined luxury and lifestyle with a backdrop of marina-side cocktail parties and VIP functions over four days. Leading brands and boat marquees were on display, from multi-million dollar superyachts to trailerable boats, marine products and services, luxury real estate and more. PIMEX has developed a reputation over the last 10 years for attracting the right kind of visitors. With a strong turnout of over 4,000 visitors this year, the show remains a niche consumer event that delivers a solid B2C platform for marine and lifestyle businesses, generating strong sales leads for exhibitors each year. Organizers recorded over 22 nationalities of visitors attending the show this year, with Russian visitors large in number. "Our marketing this year has targetted key international and domestic markets that are in-line with our exhibitors needs and the success has been in the visitor make-up, in particular the growing Russian attendance and interest in the marine leisure and luxury lifestyle," said Andy Dowden, PIMEX Show Director.
Also of note was the growing number of domestic visitors, both Thai and expatriate residents in Thailand. "We've been attending PIMEX for about five years and each year we see a growing interest in our business and products. We've had a lot of interest from Thais and from overseas we see interest from Swiss, Russian and American clients," commented Wachiraporn Putrakul, Thailand Director of Sales & Marketing, Shin Woo Ind. Co. Ltd., (SPLO Yachts). "The marine leisure lifestyle is still relatively new to Thai people, but the level of interest is growing and it's great to see a yearon-year increase by Thai visitors to the show," added Dowden.
Phuket's tourism industry is seeing rapid growth in numbers recent figures show record year-on-year growth of over 30%. The marine industry has developed in sync with this and has also seen exponential growth over recent years, retaining its position as the regional hub for marine leisure tourism. As the region heads towards 2015 and the ASEAN Economic Community, Phuket's marine industry is well positioned to develop further and cement its status as the playground of the rich and famous. "We're proud to have contributed to the growth of the marine industry in Phuket and the region through PIMEX over the last 10 years, and look forward to the next 10 years. As the traditional boating markets of Europe and the Americas are facing hard times, all eyes are on Asia for future growth and Phuket is positioned at the region's heart to lead that growth," concluded Dowden.
The inaugural PIMEX took place in December 2003. Phuket, with its rapidly expanding marine industry and a healthy property market, was already established as one of the world's prime leisure destinations and a favourite with those seeking to relocate to a better lifestyle.
Shortly after the first show the import duty on boats was reduced to zero as the Thai government quickly realized the potential of this high end sustainable tourism. The show has matured over the years and now is held at Phuket's most prestigious residential marina project.
PIMEX is an established and successful event in the marine and leisure calendar. Like its location, PIMEX is a relaxed event where participants celebrate the boating, leisure and luxury lifestyle in an ideal tropical destination. The show is more than boats on display but also an opportunity to see the latest luxury products, properties and engage in some Phuket hospitality.
PIMEX is an established and successful event in the marine and leisure calendar. PIMEX 2013 saw an increase in the in-water display space, together with 2,500sqm of indoor, waterfront exhibition space. There will be a diversity of displays from as far afield as China, Australia, Italy and France.
PIMEX is organized by the event's co-founder, Andy Dowden, of Andaman Marine Consultants, with continued PR and Marketing support from Infinity Communications and ongoing Sponsorship support from The Sponsorship Experts – Paul Poole (South East Asia) Co. Ltd.
For more information, visit www.phuketboatshow.com