Over 200 boats lined a purpose-built marina on Sydney’s Darling Harbor for the 52nd Sydney International Boat Show was launched on Thursday. The event is featuring five days of high-tech, luxury and sporting watercraft, some of which are worth millions of U.S. dollars and represent the epitome of luxury — while inside Sydney’s International Convention Center an even wider array of over 800 boats were on display from kayaks and tenders to top of the line water skiing and fishing vessels.
“We love to look at the big boats, we dream about the big boats, but the reality is that it’s a very small part of the boating market,” Boating Industry Association General Manager Domenic Genua said. “In Australia, the vessel purchases are guided by the passion of the person.”
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Genua said that in terms of sport, fishing is by far the most popular sporting vessel amongst Aussie buyers, although relaxation and time with family was also a deciding factor in most purchases.
With world-class coastline and glistening waterways at their fingertips, Australians have a deep love affair with the water, leading to a recreational marine industry worth almost 6 billion U.S. dollars.
However, a growing market for Australia’s biggest boat builder, Riviera, are Chinese buyers looking to get a slice of the aquatic action.
“We have a dealer based in Hong Kong now and they’re doing an excellent job for us educating the market on Riviera,” Riviera’s brand and communications director Stephen Milne said.
“In Australia, we’re welcoming more Chinese owners into the Riviera family, particularly here in Sydney and it is certainly our hope to grow our Chinese market as well.”
Milne said that part of his company’s mission is to introduce prospective Chinese buyers to the joys of boating which many Australians take for granted.
“In Australia, we all grow up around the water so we understand what a wonderful lifestyle it is, so as an industry we need to educate the Chinese market on how wonderful boating is,” he said.