Published: Wednesday, 04 January 2017

Superyacht Australia has taken the lead in developing the strategy for forming the foundation of the Superyacht Visitation Programme during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Southeast Queensland, Australia Apr 4-15 2018. 

Superyacht Australia Leads Commonwealth Games Strategy

(Photos: Superyacht Australia - Gold Coast)

Northrop & Johnson Australia Managing Director Cameron Bray was elected Chair of Superyacht Australia’s working group for the Commonwealth Games. He will be responsible for achieving key points ahead of the 2017 ASMEX Conference May 22-24, during which progress will be presented to the international delegates, and launching media campaign for promoting the event globally via boat shows and others.

“Northrop & Johnson Australia has seen at least a 100 per cent increase in international charter enquiry for our region over the past 12 months,” says Bray, who was recently recognised for his contribution to the industry at the 2016 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneurs Awards in the Tourism category. “Our objective is to attract superyachts to visit Australia and particularly Queensland during the period of the Commonwealth 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. 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.”

Superyacht Australia Leads Commonwealth Games Strategy 3

(Northrop & Johnson Australia Managing Director Cameron Bray)

Data collected by the US Superyacht Association shows that superyacht visitation is proven to deliver significant revenue benefits to a destination, contributing to tourism, hospitality and by flow-on effect, jobs and investment. A superyacht can deliver 30 to 40 times the value of a passenger vessel, freighter or other commercial ship.

“Superyachts are economic drivers,” Bray continues. “Their Owners and guests inject large sums of money into the destinations they visit. In terms of the charter industry, there are more than 1,200 superyachts available worldwide. Guests enjoy to the full the dining, cultural, sporting and other attractions on offer around the harbours, marinas and waterways of the destinations they visit. 

“Just as superyachts had a prominent role in VIP hospitality during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, our aim will be to show Commonwealth Games organisers, sponsors and stakeholders that the use of superyachts as a high-end hospitality accommodation with the ability to transfer VIP guests by tender to key events is the ideal way to enhance the VIP experience and showcase the Gold Coast’s natural attributes.”

The 2018 Commonwealth Games involve 6,600 athletes and officials from 70 nations and 15,000 volunteers. As the first regional Australian city to host a Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast aims to shine on the world sporting stage and the promotional exposure for business, trade, investment, tourism and events will herald a new era in the region’s growth and maturity. 

Venues will comprise the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns, which Superyacht Australia points out is “conducive to attracting both domestically based and international Superyachts, attracted to Queensland for its excellent refit, maintenance and berthing facilities, and the gateway to the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef”.

Through its worldwide network and via events such as the Barcelona Charter Show, Singapore Yacht Show, METS, Palm Beach Boat Show, Miami, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and Monaco Yacht Show, Superyacht Australia will encourage Owners of superyachts to bring their vessels to Queensland for the Commonwealth Games, with the incentive of high end hospitality and VIP tickets to the various venues.

“When we consider one superyacht spends 10 percent of its value per year on provisioning, fueling and maintaining the vessel, if six foreign flagged superyachts over 35-metres in length, each valued at around $30 million, visit the Gold Coast for a month it would equate to $1.5 million into the local economy,” says Superyacht Australia CEO MaryAnne Edwards. “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.”

Superyacht Australia Leads Commonwealth Games Strategy 2

(Southport Yacht Club Marina)

Key topics the working group will cover in collaboration with stakeholders include infrastructure such as berths and adequate access to waterways for superyachts and large yachts; Access from yacht berths to venues; VIP Hospitality; Quality collateral for superyacht captains and owners detailing the best Queensland; Marketing locally and internationally. 

Delegates at ASMEX 2017 will be presented with the first milestones of the Superyacht Visitation Programme. In addition, the findings of a landmark Economic Impact Study commissioned by AIMEX-Superyacht Australia and undertaken by external consultants will be delivered at the ASMEX Conference.

The Study, funded with the support of the Queensland Government, quantifies the actual value of the entire industry and importantly, its untapped potential.

“This is the first of its kind and certainly a valuable tool all businesses can use to their advantage,” explains Edwards. “We intend to use the EIS data to leverage investment in infrastructure and useful partnerships with Tourism, Events, Business, Training and other bodies who can benefit from the outstanding revenue potential of superyachts and allied industries.”