Successful Cannes show suggests European market making a comeback

According to a good number of exhibitors that we spoke to at the 2016 Cannes Yachting Festival, this year’s event was a good – if not a record – show. The underlying message seems to be that not only are some of Europe’s markets improving, but that Cannes as an event is taking on an enhanced role in attracting companies, buyers and potential clients from beyond Europe.

A fair amount of business was generated and several exhibitors spoke of strong leads to follow up over the coming weeks, which they felt would result in firm business. Among those were Baglietto, Princess, Sunseeker, Riviera, Sunreef and Gulf Craft to name a few.

A spokeswoman for Sunseeker International told IBI: “It was our best Cannes show ever with a constant amount of interest being shown throughout the whole event.” The numbers of contacts are still being collated.

A similar response came from Princess Yachts, whose sales and marketing director Kiran Haslam said “The show was incredible and we had to double our hospitality provision to meet demand. We are looking at some 14 orders right across the range up to and including the M Class. The buyers came from all over Europe, Asia, North and South America. We brought over many of our dealers because they had customers coming to visit and view the models we exhibited.”

Stephen Milne, sales and marketing director for Riviera from Australia, told IBI: “We have had a very good show and added several new families to our models. We are very happy.”

In terms of the brokerage side of the show, which was located at Port Pierre Canto, most of the brokers serving the near 50 yachts for sale or charter or both indicated a positive response.

The Port Canto side of the show is often quiet in numbers, but the general tone from the brokers was that the people who had visited this part of Cannes were very serious in looking to buy or charter. Most of the brokers, which included Burgess, Frasers, CNI, IYC and Debeers, were content with the results and anticipated some business to follow.

This is in the face of a very quiet charter season due to terrorist attacks, the Russians staying away, Brexit and other happenings.

A number of special events are now being considered for the 40th edition of the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2017. One possible major change that is under discussion is whether to move the sailing part of the show to Port Canto rather than have the brokerage show there. A spokesperson for the organisers indicated that that is an idea which is in the early stages of discussion and that no decision has been made.


By David Robinson

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