The annual Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat show is back for its seventh year this November, and following their most recent study, hopes to welcome a whole new segment of clientele: millennials. And plenty of them.

Waving ‘aurevoir!’ to the French Riviera, it turns out that the Thai Riviera has got serious game, too. The largest marina in Southeast Asia, the Ocean Marina Pattaya documented a 730% increase in the number of day trippers departing from its shores between 2010 and 2017. The trend follows a wave of increasing domestic interest in Thailand’s East Coast, as the Gulf of Thailand is on its way to becoming a strategic yachting hub in Southeast Asia.

Millennials love yachts

According to data shared by the marina, local interest in the boating sector is on the rise, as more and more Thais are chartering and buying yachts and motor crafts. Yet whilst boats were formerly reserved as a pastime more attributed to old men, the data also shows an intriguing spike in interest from young millennials and gen x-ers, who take to the Pattaya coast to make the most of their weekends. 60% of visitors fell into the young age group, most of whom were Thai, but also included visitors from China, Russia, Korea, India, and Germany. The young millennials are truly gearing up for yachting season, and they’ve got their eye on Thailand.

Yachts at Pattaya Boat Show

Managing director of Boat Lagoon Yachting Vrit Yongsakul describes, “we have seen a significant interest in boat purchase by Thais as they become more aware and knowledgeable about the boating lifestyle, and we expect this trend to continue.”

After all, what’s not to love? Between boat shoes and parties, and a fresh sea breeze in the air, it’s easy to see why young crews are finding interest in the seas. As marine tourism grows and young people are seeking more individual, off-the-beaten-path experiences, it’s easy to see why the East Coast is flourishing. Furthermore, recent changes to customs rules have made Thailand a more attractive destination for visiting yachts, with projects like “Thailand Riviera” and the Eastern Economic Corridor providing great appeal for both business and leisure.

Yachts at Pattaya Boat Show

An ideal spot to scour the harbour for your next big boat purchase, the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show will run from 29 November to 2 December 2018. Entry is free.

Hero image credit: Marco Verch/Flickr

Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.