The opening day of the Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference showed increased interest in the Asian market with over 150 delegates in attendance.

Organised by the Informa Yacht Group in collaboration with the Singapore Superyacht Association, the two-day event started today in Singapore.

The conference focuses on three key issues related to superyachts in Asia: managing and operating superyachts in the region; the market for imported yachts; and the increasing area of manufacturing superyachts in the Asia Pacific region.

The keynote presentation, ‘An analysis of who is buying superyachts in the Asia Pacific region’, provided a wealth of information and data on the market in Asia Pacific by Jean Jacques Lavigne, executive director of the Singapore Superyacht Association.

Key statistics showed that the number of superyachts were 68 in 2008, growing to 256 in 2012 – an increase of 276 per cent in superyacht numbers.

Countries identified for growth in 2012 are Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Indonesia, fuelled by still healthy economies and a rising awareness of luxury boating. Most of the deliveries are production yachts with 31 scheduled for delivery by the end of 2012 compared to one pre-owned yacht, six semi-custom and three custom yachts.

Many restrictions to growth still exist, including lack of berths in Hong Kong marinas and poor regulations that make operating a superyacht in most Asian markets, especially China, a tedious business.

The conference, which concludes on Thursday, addresses many of these issues with more sessions on the markets in China and India and cruising destinations in the Pacific Rim.

The event precedes the three-day Singapore Yacht Show which starts on Friday, April 27.