First Superyacht Rendezvous Downunder draws attention to Asia-Pacific
19 May, 2017
The Gold Coast played home to the inaugural Australian Superyacht Rendezvous on May 19th and 20th as the aviation, tourism and yachting industries joined forces to prove the Asia-Pacific is the new destination for luxury tourism and superyacht cruising.
With traditional hotspots such as the Mediterranean and Caribbean now overcrowded and less pristine, the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous has sparked a strong vision for driving more high-end tourism Downunder and into the Asia-Pacific region.
The inaugural Australian Superyacht Rendezvous has seen widespread collaboration amongst international yacht charter and superyacht support companies, aviation operators and marine businesses from Australia and across the globe who know the economic potential of the superyacht market for luxury tourism spending. Further, in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the greater Asia Pacific region is a key emerging luxury cruising destination.
The Coast City Marina & Shipyard hosted more than $AUS150 million of superyachts – many of the most luxurious vessels currently chartering or for sale in Australia. The line-up for the two-day rendezvous included Atlantic Princess, Auspro, Aventi, Crystal Blue, Emerald Lady, Encore, Euphoria, Laura J, Hunter, Patriot 1, Mary Rose, Mermaid Spirit, Relentless, Sahana and Samara.
Currently, according to Superyacht Australia, only 65 internationally flagged superyachts visit Australian waters each year representing just 1.5 percent of the global superyacht market. The shared consensus being that an island surrounded by pristine and stunning waters with year-round cruising weather should be attracting a far greater share of this lucrative market.
Evidence from the recently released Australian superyacht industry Economic Impact Study proved one foreign superyacht can spend $2.5 million in a 12-month period, presenting large-scale opportunities for local tourism, hospitality and manufacturing sectors. It also highlighted that improved customs facilities and the removal of current taxation restrictions to allow these international vessels to charter in Australia would see significant increases in visitor numbers.
Gold Coast City Marina CEO and event organizer, Trenton Gay said it is great to see so many international companies from a range of sectors not just nautical jumping on board so that high end tourism across the Asia-Pacific can be bolstered.
“We are proud to be hosting some of the finest superyachts in Australia and are delighted to have international guests and sponsors including yacht charter companies jetting in from Indonesia and Thailand because they are keen to work together collaboratively,” Mr Gay said.
“The Mediterranean and the Americas are well established as superyacht hot spots but the Asia-Pacific region is gaining momentum at a rapid rate and we need to work together to entice and welcome more vessels to this part of the world,” he said. “Our partners and guests for the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous are very excited about the potential there is to boost not just superyacht traffic in Australia but also across the Asia-Pacific region.”
One of the major partners for the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous is Adagold Aviation whose Market Development Manager, Katelyn Aslett believes the event is critical to building strong partner relationships and industry collaboration across the high-end luxury travel market.
“We are seeing a growing appetite from sophisticated international visitors who want to come to Australia for luxury and exclusive experiences from bespoke travel yet we’re still missing out on a substantial proportion of this market segment,” Ms Aslett said.
“Our business, luxury aviation has direct synergies with superyacht market so we see this event as a very important initiative to working together and creating a stronger pull to our region,” she said. Indo Yachts Director, Nikko Karki – who owns and runs an elite tier charter company in Indonesia with an 18 strong fleet is flying in for the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous to showcase his business.
“Superyacht charters offer exhilarating holiday experiences and the cost is often comparative to what would be spent on a land based or large cruise ship holiday with exponentially more memorable and unique experiences and privacy,” Mr Karki said.
Luxury international yacht brokerage business, Northrop & Johnson also jumped on board, keen to put Australia and the Asia-Pacific region in the international spotlight for luxury yachting enthusiasts.
Around 400 stakeholders and guests are expected to attend the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous, which includes a yacht hop event by day for tourism and events industry professionals followed by an invitation only glamour evening party for business, industry and media and will conclude with a superyacht crew party on the final day. The rendezvous was a lead up to the 2017 Australian Superyacht, Marine Export and Commercial Marine Conference at Sanctuary Cove on 22 to 24 May and the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.
The host venue for the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous was the landmark Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard – the largest facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere with a capacity for more than 50 superyachts at any one time. The marina is home to over 70 on-site marine-related trades and currently employs well in excess of 500 marine contractors.