In a move to extend the reach of the Singapore Yacht Show to a wider audience, event organiser Verventia has announced that the 2018 edition will incorporate a new dedicated area called ‘The Floating Leisure Hub’, catering for the growing demand for watersports equipment for larger yachts and superyachts as well as for local and regional watersports enthusiasts.

The hub will be located on water in the heart of the show, where visitors will be able to view watersports products on the water as well as on floating stands. It will also be possible to view live demonstrations and test some of the products on the water.

In the evenings, the organisers are planning networking and entertainment events. According to a show survey, 80% of visitors want to experience marine activities at the Singapore Yacht Show and 24% are interested in fishing and diving products.

“Visitors to the 2018 Singapore Yacht Show will find a much wider range of products at the smaller end of the scale,” says Andy Treadwell, Verventia CEO. “Our new floating leisure hub will showcase the latest personal watercraft and equipment – paddle boards, inflatables, water toys, kite surfing, sports fishing and diving products.

“There is a growing demand for equipment for all of these ‘new’ activities in Asia, especially from the boat and yacht owners who are clients of and prospects for our exhibitors at SYS, but also from the rapidly growing marine tourism market across the region,” he adds. “I am also pleased to announce that the Singapore Yacht Show has 77% of the berths already booked for next April’s show.”

The Singaporean economy is also performing well. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) raised its forecast for economic growth in 2017 to 2-3%, up from an earlier estimate of 1-3%. This was announced alongside the release of the latest Economic Survey of Singapore, which showed the economy expanded 2.9% in the April to June quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. This was faster than the 2.5% growth in the preceding quarter and also an upward revision from an earlier estimate of 2.5%.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day message last week that the government now expects the economy to grow by around 2.5% for the whole of 2017, higher than last year's growth of 2%.