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Crazy for Italian yachts, in Hong Kong

Azimut-Benettis are a good option, but most of tycoons have a weakness for Ferrettis

Crazy for Italian yachts, in Hong Kong

Claudia Astarita

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It doesn't matter if statistics say that the average time Hong Kong tycoons spend at sea is 32 hours a year, the problem is that they all want the best they can get from the global market, and this is boosting Italian yachts sales on the former British colony.

Hong Kong people weakness for luxury is currently leaving Sunseekers (UK) and Princesses (a British manufacturer owned by a French majority) almost ignored. Italian Azimut-Benettis could be a good option, but it seems that local buyers have become more and more demanding, and although they say they cannot accept anything different from an Italian yacht, they do not want to be forced to choose among a few models, only.

This idea is shared by those who cannot afford to buy a personal yacht as well, as people interesting in renting yachts for a few hours or days are also looking for the best. And according to them the best is Italian.

Eric Noyel, a French entrepreneur who recently founded Riviera Orientale Yachting Society, a charter company offering a wide choice of boat sizes, with crew and full onboard services, similar to those available in the Mediterranean, believes that in the production boat category, it's much the same as it happens for cars: only the Italians have it. Accordingly, he thinks that Ferrettis, Rivas or Pershings are needed to offer a "serious feet". It is like Ferrari and Maserati versus BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

It is a question of style and a status symbol. Sunseekers and Princesses can be much cheaper than Ferrettis, Rivas or Pershings, and here is where services offered by the Riviera Orientale Yachting Society help: any time a Chinese has not enough money to buy the yacht he or she dreams, he can rent it. For a day, a week, or as long as he or she can afford.

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