Sep 26 2012
The Chinese elite just had to be there, at the Hotel Majestic in Cannes, on Sepember 15, to close the Boat Show. China Rendez-vous was hosting yacht manufacturers, boating enthusiasts and affluent Chinese currently staying on the Riviera, and boating them from Cannes to Nice to Monaco and back.
Two hundred Chinese dressed in polo shirts and light trousers (for the minority of men), and for the women, as “Taitai”, ie the beautiful Chinese spouses in their most beautiful outfits, veils, long dresses showing bare shoulders, milky complexion and jewels galore. All gathered around a swimming pool and a cocktail with the idea to buy a yacht, and do business with a few handpicked western businessmen such as Chinese marina architect Emmanuel Delarue, yacht manufacturer Rodriguez or the owner of Fraser yachts, a company broker for yachts, as well as numerous other stars from the world of yachting.
China Rendez Vous has been organizing this event for five years and manages a feat that even international events such as the Biennale des Antiquaires cannot match : they bring together for an evening all the wealthy Chinese staying on the Riviera (whether on business or simply visiting boat shows in Cannes and Monaco), and for a moment, they set the tone of the microcosm that is the international Chinese jet set.
If only I could exploit the marketing potential of this event, many of my customers – jewelers, watchmakers, fine foods, wine and champagne producers – would feel quite at ease in such an environment. The event is like an uncut stone which deserves the greatest care. Our Chinese friends will realise during that one special evening that yachting is much more than a boat, it is a complete lifestyle, including costumed cruise, nightclub in Saint Tropez, casino in Monaco, palaces, jewels and marine watches. All the glitter of the Riviera and the shopping opportunities it offers.
Five years that the event has been organised – initially as a confidential gathering, then growing every year, sustained by the increasing flow of wealthy individual Chinese tourists to France. And of course, Cannes and Monaco are also destined to become key tourist destinations, as yachting becomes an increasingly important objective of the rich Chinese, as a hobby and especially as a unique status symbol which can be « shared » with one’s relationships.
China Rendez Vous and China Night are nonetheless an achievement and hold significant promise for the future. Let’s wish good luck and a boat-full of sponsors to China Night 2013.