Southeast Asia is fast emerging as the yachting hub of Asia, with industry watchers highlighting the potential in markets like Thailand and Indonesia as the 5th annual Singapore Yacht Show kicks off this week.
Singapore is already the region's established base for luxury boating, but limited cruising opportunities have seen interest spread to neighboring countries, said Andy Treadwell, managing director of the Singapore Yacht Show.
To be sure, there isn't a widespread yachting culture in Asia despite the region's growing billionaire population. Only 4.3 percent of the world's super yachts are based in Asia despite the region boasting twice as many ultra-high net worth (UNHW) individuals as the Middle East, Latin America and Africa combined, according to Wealth-X. A super yacht is typically at least 25-30 meters in length.
But there's plenty to be optimistic about.
"The [countries] I see the most potential in yacht growth [in are] Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia. That's often because of the pretty islands, yacht clubs, a strong tourism industry as well as a strong expat community who might have a history of yachting," said Tara Loader Wilkinson, Wealth-X editor in chief.
Wally 47, an Italian-made sports cruiser, will make its debut at the Singapore Yacht Show this year, drawn by the region's prospects.
"People are moving away from buying cheap production yachts and as the understanding of yachting develops and becomes more popular in Asia, people are moving onto quality boats," noted Wally brand ambassador Henry Goulding.