Vancouver Boat Show attracts wealthy Chinese buyers
Updated: 2015-01-24 18:13
People walk past yachts during a preview of the 46th International Boat Fair in Duesseldorf Jan 16, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
VANCOUVER -- For China's rapidly emerging wealthy elite, there are few better places in the world to spend their new money than at the Vancouver Boat Show.
For five days each winter, the show - now in its 53rd year - draws boat lovers from around the world to a sales showcase of more than 250 exhibitors with the latest and best of the boating world.
This year, the Chinese buyers are making one of the biggest splashes.
By Friday morning, two Chinese citizens had already each purchased one of their loved yacht, one for C$1.4 million ($1.15 million) and the other for C$3 million ($2.46 million).Amanda Liang, a sales manager of M&P Yacht Center in Vancouver, is specialized with serving Chinese clients. She said the Chinese buyers would like to enjoy the water.
"Because sometimes in China, it's a totally different lifestyle," she told Xinhua at the show on Friday.
Within the past 10 years, the number of billionaires in China has grown from only three to more than 350, according to the Hurun rich list report. This new wealth is helping fuel an interest by Chinese to sail the seas in luxury.
"In China, boating is not very popular yet. So when they come here and see a lot of water, they want to enjoy a new lifestyle, so they buy a boat and have a lifestyle with the whole family," Liang added.
But what happens when a customer without boating experience invests money in a luxury yacht?
Wilson Kao is a boating instructor special for new Chinese yacht owners. He said his job was to tell those new Chinese boaters how to enjoy boating and sail safely.
"If you are a new boater, then we will tell you everything about boating by hosting seminars in Chinese."
Kao said he was introducing wealthy Chinese buyers to the unfamiliar lifestyle of yachting on the open sea. He is also providing safety and legal training to novice boaters.
The wealthy Chinese were rapidly taking an interest in the luxury boat market, Kao said, and many of his clients were also starting to enjoy the social benefits of owning a yacht.