Business / Industries

Living aboard to dive, enjoy high-end voyages

By Shi Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-13 09:15

China's yachting industry, like other businesses, is tapping the internet for faster development.

Sanya Visun Royal Yacht Club signed a strategic partnership on April 7 with short-term rental online platform, in the hope of developing the so-called "live aboard" business in China.

The new segment is devoted to diving aficionados who prefer to live aboard a vessel like a yacht or a boat and set sail for high-end entertainment voyages.

Such diving enthusiasts hire customized boats that meet all their eating and accommodation requirements.

On a typical trip lasting several days, the boat operators ferry their customers to different diving spots each day. Most of these trips are organized near islands, far away from harbors. For, only at such places could divers see beautiful sea creatures and magnificent under-water scenery.

Thailand, Maldives, Indonesia and the Red Sea are among the popular destinations for live aboard trips, said Lu Zifeng, a senior diving coach currently based in Malaysia.

Shang Ying, vice­president of Tujia said, "demand for sailing has been rising among Chinese consumers. But the industry has not seen related polices catching up to be in sync. As an online travel and rental platform, we started with cooperation with yacht clubs. We want to evolve a standard and a process for providing live aboard services to our registered users. The live aboard business provides more fun ways of using existing yachts."

Towards the end of 2015, Tujia rolled out a yacht trip service to celebrate the onset of 2016. Consumers could throw a party on the boats and set sail from the Gulangyu Island in Fujian province. They could retire to a convertible at night although the usual practice is to live aboard the boat or yacht in every sense of the phrase.

Gan Xuejin, executive vice president of Shanghai Sun Holiday Group, said the yacht industry is working with travel and financial services industries to develop and offer more boating products and services.

"Companies have to work together as water-based recreation comes of age and gets closer to the mass market. A growing number of holiday groups are now working with yacht companies to create a Chinese eco-tourism alliance. We are trying to build a new lifestyle business that connects travel, property, recreational holiday, health and wellness segments in the Yangtze River and Pearl River Deltas, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province. This should help enrich the industry and meet Chinese consumers' demand," he said.

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