The Korea International Boat Show (KIBS) was opened on Thursday by the Vice Governor of Gyeonggi Province Kim Jin Heung who said: “We are celebrating the 11th edition of KIBS, the largest marine leisure exhibition in Korea, over the years KIBS has played a major role in growing the marine leisure industry and expanding business for Korean equipment manufacturers. Given that the GDP per head in Korea is expected to exceed US$30,000 this year we are expecting a continuous growth in the leisure boating market”.

This 2018 show, the 11th edition, has grown in space by 10% and exhibitor numbers are up from 253 to 270 at the KINTEX exhibition centre venue with a further 20 boats afloat at the nearby Ara Marina on the Han River. The first two days of the KIBS has shown growing interest in leisure boating with exhibitors reporting serious enquiries.

CK Marine, Beneteau importers for Korea, increased their exhibition space this year exhibiting three boats. CEO Kenny Kang told IBI during show: “We are receiving more serious enquiries during the first days of the show than in previous years. We are happy with the promotion and organisation of the event. Recently we have seen an upturn in the market in Korea and are working hard to develop the Beneteau brand.”

The director for Groupe Beneteau Asia Pacific, Thibaut de Montvalon, is also at the show and in a joint presentation with Kang to customers and the press on the Beneteau stand explained the importance of the Korean and Asia market for future growth of the group.

Richard Ward, owner of Vietnam-based boatbuilder Sea Wind was happy with the show: “We are exhibiting with our local dealer a Corsair 760 trimaran which was sold on the first day of the show. Our dealer has a further three boats on order, we are very happy with how the market is developing since our first exhibition presence here some years ago at the previous marina site. The show is well organised with an excellent layout in a modern exhibition hall.”

New products from Korea included the launch of a range of cameras for marine applications by major Korea manufacturer Hanwha which is launching the Wisenet brand of cameras including Thermal, De-fogging, Night Vision, Multi directional and stabilised models for yachts and small boats.

KIBS runs for another two days and a large attendance is expected by the organisers over the weekend.