If the talk and outcomes of the 2nd Australian Superyacht Rendezvous staged at Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard last weekend (20-21 April) are anything to go by, Australia is set for a superyacht industry revolution thanks to the intrepid travel destination appeal and a fiercely collaborative industry.
The business and pleasure of the Australian and international world of superyachts gathered for the two-day Australian Superyacht Rendezvous and hot on the agenda was why Australia is the next global superyacht hotspot, why superyacht charters should be more broadly considered for events and luxury holiday makers and why the superyacht industry is so important to Australia’s tourism and economy.
More than $200 million worth of Australia’s finest superyachts for charter and sale assembled for the Rendezvous which included an industry round table discussion of the issues and positioning of Australia’s superyacht industry, an industry celebration party, an “open decks” yacht hopping showcase and VIP Gala cocktail party.
Trenton Gay, CEO of Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard and organizer of the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous, says the event has further ignited the concept that Australia is well poised to capitalize on the global superyacht industry.
“Internationally, it is widely known that superyacht charters are looking beyond the usual Caribbean and Mediterranean haunts to Australia because our cruising waters are not just vast, pristine and breathtaking but they offer privacy and adventure,” Mr Gay said.
“In complete contrast to say Saint Tropez or St Barts, Australia has its own authentic identity and unique experiences for superyacht holiday makers and this is an exciting time as we work to show the world why these luxury vessels should be headed here,” he said.
“Australia has nearly 60,000 kilometres of coastline including our islands. In our sovereign waters, we have 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 12 of which are accessible by yacht including the Great Barrier Reef or the Kimberley region.
“Aside from the magnitude, Australia is also relatively undeveloped so for an international yacht and its owner, this means complete privacy to cruise in truly unique scenery.”
Legislative barriers creating roadblocks to increasing the number of international superyachts entering Australian waters is something that the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous is hoping to influence change with so Australia can cash in on the economic potential of this global industry. Research suggests that one single superyacht has a higher spend than an 1800-person cruise ship.
As Mr Gay points out, you don’t have to be a high-level economist to work out that the superyacht industry has the potential to drive exponentially lucrative economic and tourism benefits into Australia, which makes perfect business sense.
The newest domestic superyacht to Australia, the $10 million Gulf Craft, Oneworld officially launched at the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous, attracting a flurry of charter and media attention. Oneworld is owned by former hotelier and race car driver, Rod Salmon – his first superyacht – strategically purchased to work the Australian charter market for a large percentage of the year but then also be available for family recreation.
Mr Gay highlighted that Rod Salmon represented a “new age” of superyacht owner in Australia.
“Rod has really studied the market and designed a boat from the ground up to cater for high numbers of guests onboard in Sydney harbour whilst still providing a luxurious liveaboard experience for families to enjoy more remote destinations around Australia’s coastline”.
Increased international presence was strongly felt at this year’s Australian Superyacht Rendezvous with the ‘royalty’ of the world superyacht industry joining the event as partners including Benetti, Burgess and IGY Marinas.
Jonathan Beckett, Executive of Burgess and one of the most successful, experienced and popular yacht brokers in the world having orchestrated the sales of many of the world’s most famous yachts, attended the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous.
“Everyone who is anyone attended the Rendezvous. It was a gathering of the great and good of the Australian Superyacht society as well as a good number of owners in attendance too,” Mr Beckett said.
“The superyachts lined up stern to the event gave a very Mediterranean “St Tropez” feel to the occasion. Well organised, great fun and great networking. I will be coming again next year,” he said.
Further information about the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous is available by visiting www.australiansuperyachtrendezvous.com
Photo credit: Stephen Archer