Monaco, Cannes in the throes of different COVID-19 playbooks

AMSTERDAM – As Dutch superyacht builders led a boycott of the 2020 Monaco Yacht Show due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cannes show vowed to go ahead but with strict health safety controls. Both shows are must-do events for Dutch builders of sail and motor yachts and their supply chains.

The Cannes show (Sept. 8-13) plans to monitor crowding and mask-wearing. Visitors will see marked footpaths, hand gel dispensers and “increased daily disinfection of areas through which visitors pass.”

The Monaco show (Sept. 23-26), however, is stuck in a spat with some big exhibitors.

It will open without 15 superyacht builders from half a dozen nations They are members of the Amsterdam-based Super Yacht Builders Association who want to skip a year arguing it is improper to hold a show in a COVID-19 year. They also want lower exhibition costs in the future, have rejected a 30% cut in 2020 and complain organizers have for years refused to discuss lower prices. Also boycotting the 2020 MYS are members of the Large Yacht Brokers Association.

That’s a dark prospect for the world’s swankiest boating extravaganza.

Oceanco-built DreAMBoat

A boycott would see no-shows by such premier Dutch exhibitors as Feadship, Heesen, Oceanco and Vitters. But, also by Abeking & Rasmussen (Germany); Bagliotto, Benetti, Perini Navi and Fincanteri (Italy); Belgin Yachts and Turquoise (Turkey); Burger and Delta (USA); Horizon (Taiwan) and  Silver Yachts (Australia).

Informa initially said its show could safely be staged with health safety measures not unlike those planned for the Cannes show. To placate critics, Informa, the MYS’ British organizer, says it is developing “an intimate, not-for-profit event,” an apparent bid to drive down show costs.

“Full details to be announced in the coming weeks,” it added.