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High costs limit popularity of yachting in China (2)

(Xinhua)

15:31, September 17, 2012

Many exhibitors said the majority of yacht buyers own tourism businesses and other enterprises. They are usually not so concerned about price, but they are keen on a yacht's shape, speed and comfort level -- a trend that is perfectly in line with luxury consumption, in general.

"We sell 30 yachts at a wide range of prices each year, including some sold for 43 million yuan," said Sheng Tang, manager of Zhejiang Shengshi Yachts Company. "Although the number sold is not high, we earn a respectable profit."

According to statistics from the exhibition, China is expected to see a dramatic increase in yacht ownership and the value of the industry is expected to reach 150 billion yuan over the next decade.

Xie Yilou, deputy head of the Hainan Yachting Association, said relevant facilities, including public piers and open sea waters, should be improved in order to change the image of yachting, which has long been regarded by the public as a luxury leisure activity reserved for the elite.

He suggested that people could chip in on one expensive yacht and divvy up their yachting time.

"For example, 10 people could buy one yacht at 10 million yuan. Then, each owns 10 percent of the property and each goes yachting for 10 days at separate times," Xie said.

They could rent the yacht to others to operate during the remaining days of the year, a move that could cover anchoring and maintenance fees and generate a return of about 5 percent, he added.

"In this way, yachting could really be accessible for more people," Xie said.

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