SUPERYACHT Australia has devised a strategy to attract more superyachts to Queensland and capitalise on revenue opportunities ahead of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The peak body has put together a working group to focus on uniting stakeholders and share the benefits of engaging with the superyacht community as part of the Superyacht Visitation Programme.
Key topics will cover infrastructure, access to waterways, access from berths to venues, hospitality services and local and international marketing.
Northrop & Johnson managing director and 2016 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Hospitality & Tourism Award winner Cameron Bray (pictured) has been elected chair of the GC2018 working group.
Bray says Northrop & Johnson, which partnered with his charter business Bray Management, has seen a 100 per cent increase in international charter enquiries in the region over the past 12 months.
He says the working group's objective is to attract more superyachts to Australia, particularly Queensland during the Games.
"It is well-known that superyacht owners follow key international sporting events and for international charter brokers, Queensland is certainly on the radar as an idyllic cruising ground their clients are very keen to experience," Bray says.
"It is important we start marketing a visitation programme now to the world superyacht fleet as they traditionally make their cruising plans two years in advance."
He says the potential economic benefits of superyachts outweigh cruise liners and commercial ships, with owners and their guests injecting 'large sums of money' into dining, cultural and sporting attractions at the destinations they visit.
Figures by the US Superyacht Association show that a superyacht can deliver between 30 to 40 times the value of a commercial ship in tourism revenue and employment.
Superyacht Australia CEO MaryAnne Edwards says Queensland is capable of attracting both domestic and international superyachts as a gateway to the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef.
"When we consider one superyacht spends 10 per cent of its value per year on provisioning, fuelling and maintaining the vessel, if six foreign flagged superyachts over 35m in length, each valued at $30 million, visit the Gold Coast for a month it would equate to $1.5 million into the local economy," Edwards says.
"It's clear the potential revenue this represents to the local supply chain which includes local providers of food, beverage, fuel, restaurants, tourism attractions and eventually, investment in business and property."
The first milestones of the Superyacht Visitation Programme will be presented at the 2017 ASMEX Conference next May at InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort.
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