All it takes is one look at Shanghai”s city skyline, and it’s apparent that this cosmopolitan capital oozes luxury. So there could perhaps be no better fit for the port city’s latest luxury trend: yachting.
The city, bordered by the East China Sea and surrounded by a series of lakes to the west and crisscrossed rivers and canals, has seen growth in the recreational boating industry along the Huangpu River as marinas and waterfront are developed to support the sport. Visitors will see a fleet of yachts parked in front to of government buildings and members-only clubs.
Shanghai also hosts an annual international boat show in April, and the 2011 show saw more than 1 billion yuan ($159 million) in yachts and accessories traded over four days, three times more than the 2010’s show.
Steep import taxes give Chinese manufacturers an advantage in the market, but brands like U.K.-based Sunseeker have swooped as well. Sunseeker Asia manager Gordon Hui says that he had no Chinese customers up until several years ago, and now the Chinese market makes up for more than 10 percent of the company’s annual production.
Currently, plans are in the works for the construction for 11 new yacht piers over the next five years, which will be able to hold 20,000 vessels.