Held for the 46th time in 2023, the Cannes Yachting Festival, Europe’s largest on-water boat show, once again attracted a lot of attention.
Increased demand for larger yachts compared to the past; was one of the clearest conclusions of the fair. An average of 700 boats ranging from five to fifty meters in length were on display at the fair, which took place in the ports of Port Canto and Vieux Port. The event was attended by more than 500 exhibitors and 50,000 visitors.
Speaking to BoatPRO International, Will Green, CEO of Princess Yachts, said: “Traditionally July and August are quieter months, but we seemed to have forgotten that during the pandemic as sales activity increased and all normal buying habits disappeared. There were a lot of customers waiting to see the new boats, so we feel we are fully back to normal.”
Demand for Larger Models Increased
At the fair, where the increasing demand for larger boats came to the fore, we see that larger models are being worked on in terms of length and volume. Vrit Yongsakul, group managing director of Boat Lagoon Yachting, said: “I think we are seeing much more growth in the size of boats launched in Cannes than anywhere else in the world, which is probably a reflection of the upward trend in market sentiment.”
One of the highlights of the 2023 boat show was the announcement by the City of Cannes of changes to the layout of the show in 2024. The relocation of exhibitor spaces from Vieux Port to Port Canto will be one of the preferred changes to create a more modern show environment. The renovation works are expected to last until 2026. The new layout at Vieux Port will be finalized in three years’ time. Extra space will be created for superyachts up to 55 meters and boats larger than eight meters to avoid any disruption from unusable areas.
Port Modernization Efforts
Filippo Rean, Managing Director of show organizer RX France: “It is clear that the work to modernize the Vieux Port means we will need to change some of our facilities and the way we welcome exhibitors and visitors during the Cannes Yachting Festival. Working constructively with the City and MVPC teams, our teams are already able to anticipate the main impacts on the different spaces we occupy and find alternatives in the best possible conditions for those following the 2024 edition.”
Rean said that they are aware that these changes to the layout “may affect how the presence of some exhibitors at the Cannes Yacht Festival is organized, but they are confident in their ability to reinvent the fair together and support boat builders in welcoming them.”