The Macau Yacht Show – or the ‘Macau International Yacht Import and Export Fair, to give it full title – opened yesterday evening with a harbour cruise for government and industry VIPs, speeches, fireworks, a jetski display and a gala dinner at The Rocks Hotel overlooking the boats at Fisherman’s Wharf.
First item on the agenda was a late afternoon sightseeing trip through Macau’s Outer Harbour on board two gleaming new Maioras – a 27 and a 20S - supplied for the occasion by Starship Yachts. MD Edwin Ho, himself a Macau native and a member of the pre-eminent Ho family, said, 'I am so delighted to see a yacht show in Macau at long last. It’s something that has been missing from the business and social and leisure scene of this very exciting place.'
On board was Mr Liu Dashan, President of Nam Kwong (Group) Ltd, principal organisers of the show. 'The Macau Yacht Show offers people first-hand experience of something that is a new and exciting opportunity for many people. I believe that boating and the boating industry will grow rapidly in this part of the world when more overseas visitors come and see what Asia has to offer, and when the network of boating support facilities in the region becomes more developed.'
Cruising back to Fisherman’s Wharf past some of Macau’s phenomenal collection of casinos, you could almost hear the click of the chips above the clink of the champagne glasses. The Macau gaming industry has a bigger turnover than Las Vegas, meaning that the former Portuguese colony has no shortage of funds for investment in events and infrastructure. Macau is a short jet-cat ride (50 mins) from Hong Kong, boasts its own international airport, and has long been one of the gateways to China. 'Closeness to China is very important for Macau,' says Mr Liu, 'both physically and emotionally. And it is something that will help this show to grow.'
The inaugural edition of the Macau Yacht Show aims to bring the best of the best to the South China coast, and exhibitors include Starship Yachts, Simpson Marine, China Pacific Marine and other well-known names. There are big boats, motor yachts, sailing yachts, manufacturers and brokers on display, with in-water exhibits along the waterfront and a multitude of booths and stands in the streets of the Fisherman’s Wharf area.
The show opens to the public at 1100hrs today and runs until Sunday 30 October.