Korea is a peninsular surrounded by the sea on three sides. With such a long coastline it is surprising that yachting as an industry is not more developed than it already is but as the Korean International Boat opened its door to its sixth outing it is clear that many would like it to succeed and prosper further.
We were there travelling as guests of the Korea Boat Showand Intellian the Korean manufacturer of Satellite Communications antennae
The powerful nation has already demonstrated its great ship building skill to the rest of the world. This implies that they have a huge opportunity to become a powerful nation of the world of yachting.
Gyeonggi-do province is determined to get a slice of the boat building action and has set up a policy to focus on developing the west coast to the country’s first gateway into the marine leisure industry of Asia by 2020.
The ‘Jeongok Marine Industrial Park’ has been set up in the province in order to develop the west coast so that it becomes the centre of the country’s marine leisure industry, which is the biggest in Northeast Asia.
The business park will be Korea’s first yacht and boat manufacturing business and components industrial complex and is blessed with the active support of Gyeonggi-do and Hwaseong-si. It is already home to Korea’s largest marina facility inside Hwaseong-si Jeongok harbour, with berths for 145 yachts. A larger marina capable of accommodating 192 boats will be built inside the harbour at Jeongok
Kwang-Ryel Ryu Deputy Director-General of the Gyeonggi-do Economy Investment Team, Investment Industry sees the continuing success of the country’s Boat Show as proof that the idea is catching on. He said, Many Koreans are beginning to feel differently about water sports. With our 5-day working system coupled with greater disposable income, lengthened spare time and better quality of life, than was the case previously more and more people have become more interested with water sports activities. Until now, non-marine sports such as climbing, cycling and golf have dominated outdoor activities. Now however diverse water sports, including boating yachting and canoe sailing, have come popular among many people in recent years
Welcoming us as international journalists Kim Moon-Soo, the Governor of Gyeonggi Province said, “In 2012 Gyeonggi Province successfully hosted the fifth Korea International Boat Show. A total of 170,000 visitors attended this 5-days event with 214 exhibitors from home and abroad. Previously we held the show at the Jeongok Marina which is a two-hour drive from the capital on the west coast. This year we are located closer, in a purpose built exhibition hall at Kintex and have 305 exhibiting companies a rise of over 60 per cent on last year. Now with 22,580sqm exhibition space we have almost twice the size of the enclosed area that we occupied last year and are just 45 minutes away from the airport the airport. I believe this strategic location close to the capital, means we will draw bigger crowds this year and I am expecting 30,000 visitors through the gates by the close, which is almost double the number 17,507, who attended last year.”