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High demand for yacht-driving training

By Li Wenfang (China Daily)

08:19, October 23, 2012

The expanding yachting industry in China has helped stoke the demand for yacht-driving courses in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.

Guangzhou Maritime College, one of two schools to offer instruction in the subject, saw enrollment in the courses start to pick up quickly in 2010, said Li Dimin, a dean of the college.

When started in 2006, the program recruited about four students in one session and is training a dozen in the current one.

More than 300 people, after attending 28 sessions at the college, have obtained yacht-driving licenses.

"It is obvious that the demand for yacht drivers has become strong in cities around Guangzhou, such as Zhongshan and Shunde in Foshan," Li said.

"In the beginning, we thought that yachting was a kind of luxury consumption. But then, people started to change their minds and saw yachting as a source of employment. It's like a driver's license. Before, only rich people were applying for it. But now many people are doing that."

In the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong alone, there is a potential demand for 100,000 yacht drivers, Li said, citing an industry estimate.

Among those who have taken the course on yacht driving have been yacht owners — who make up more than half of the students — those wanting to work as yacht drivers, those working in maritime design and manufacturing and managers of yacht clubs, said Wang Xinhui, another dean.

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