Evolving MYS: The Three Billion Euro Superyacht Show

The Monaco Yacht Show Photographed in 2012

In 1991, the Principality of Monaco noticed a gap in the market for an event dedicated to superyachts over 24m in size. Home to a number of wealthy residents and with a long nautical history, what better location than the iconic Port Hercules? In the years that followed, the show would try on many hats before taking its crown as the largest superyacht show in the world. We take a look at the evolution of the Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) in anticipation for this year’s edition...

Fast forward 29 years from 1991, and the superyacht industry are already preparing for September, when the next show will consume Monaco’s shores. MYS 2019 is indeed set to be quite literally, a big one, with the largest most voluminous yachts in history lining the docks. Estimated figures for this year’s showcase include 125 superyachts, 55 tenders and toys and 12 super cars and 2 helicopters. Of the 125 yachts on show, 6 will be over 70m, 8 will be over 80m and 45 new builds will be using the MYS for their world debuts. These numbers are a far cry from those of 1991, where 32 yachts attended with an average length of 31 metres.

Yet in the beginning, established as a trade show, the quality of those attending the show wasn’t quite as impressive as it is today. By 2002 the show was hosting 65 yachts annually and attracting real prospective buyers and existing yacht owners as returning clientele. Retrospective yacht numbers today are more than double those of 2002, showing what a careful focus can do.

Each year, and since their ownership begin in 2005, organisers at Informa Group have worked to stay relevant - not only by the size of attending yachts - but by optimising thematic zones such as the Car Deck exhibition space and by hosting an invite-only ‘Sapphire Experience’ for VIPs, ensuring that a generation of yacht end-users are in attendance. It’s noted that instead of increasing the number of people attending, the show is focusing instead on enhancing the experience for prospective clients and serious buyers.

In fact, today it is fair to describe the Monaco Yacht Show as a micro-economy. This year over 580 companies will exhibit, with employees flocking to Monaco and the surroundings for a full week of action. It’s estimated that around 300 people are involved in the set-up of exhibition space alone and if these figures don’t provide enough wow-factor, it's further reported that the value of the yachts present will reach over three billion euros with the average cost of a yacht placed at around 27 million euros!

Of course, the Monaco Yacht Show story would not be complete without mentioning the recognition of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco who has enabled the show to progress under his rule since its beginnings back in 1991.

But what about the future of the show? With a new generation of younger yacht owners in attendance, yachting trends turning to exploration and with the Top 100 largest yachts in the world entrance post at well above 80m, the next few years are sure to be interesting.

We look forward to bringing you more and making history this year, as we edge closer to the 29th edition.