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Boat show may see sales climb by 30%

By Richard Fu (Shanghai Daily)

10:00, January 09, 2013

THE organizers of China's main yacht show expect a 30 percent rise in turnover at this year's event as an improving economy is fueling demand from the affluent middle class.

The 18th China (Shanghai) International Boat Show, to be held on April 11-14 in Shanghai, may generate deals worth at least 3 billion yuan (US$482 million).

The number of visitors to the boat show is set to jump 30 percent to 40,000, according to a forecast released by the yachts and ships branch of the China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry at an industry seminar yesterday.

Executives are optimistic about the sector in China as Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

"In the past they bought a yacht mainly as a status symbol. Now, their main purpose is for enjoyment and relaxation," said Jennifer Delach, China general manager for recreational boat maker Brunswick. "A yacht was previously mainly used for business entertainment but today you see more people use it to spend time with family and friends."

China's secondhand boat market is also set to boom within three years as owners begin retiring their boats for new ones, Lek Lee Ann, director of Asia at British builder Sunseeker, said.

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