With a $65 billion spend annually on overseas holidays, Australians represent a mammoth market for travel and tourism. With international travel restrictions still firmly in place, and likely to be so for the foreseeable future, many Australians will be considering an alternative getaway this year. Fortunately for them, Australia itself is one of the world’s most diverse and breath-taking regions. For the superyacht industry, there are now a considerable number of Australian charter clients who usually venture abroad that will now consider charter opportunities in Australia’s vast waterscapes.
Another reason for optimism stems from the ban on cruise ships, with superyacht charter offering a smaller scale and more hygienic luxury alternative to those travellers. Australia has been the leader in the cruise market since 2013, overtaking the US. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), 5% of Australians went on a cruise in 2018, accounting for 1.35 million guests and a larger percentage than other major cruise markets (USA 3.7% and UK 3%). It is realistic to believe that a great deal of high-end cruise passengers will become suitable superyacht charter clients, as these passengers regularly pay in excess of $50,000 per person for an extended family of 8-12 passengers.
Superyacht Australia estimates that converting just 1% of top end Australian cruise passengers will equate to 13,500 new superyacht guests chartering vessels in Australia. To cater for these new clients, many term charters on superyachts in Australia can offer all-inclusive packages that will be comfortable for those used to the high-end cruise structure. It is hoped that once these customers experience the exclusivity and exceptional level of service onboard a superyacht, they will become regular superyacht charterers.
Since Covid-19 has shaken the world, many international superyachts have identified Australia and the South Pacific region as a safe haven, with an increase also noted in enquiries for Australia’s world-class refit shipyards. The potential of picking up charter activity will only encourage more superyachts to head to the region, however the focus for Superyacht Australia remains firmly on helping the domestic charter fleet. David Good, CEO of Superyacht Australia, stated that “our objective will be to convert these potential customers into new clients for our member vessels such as M/Y Oneworld, M/Y Silent World, M/Y Spirit and M/Y Dreamtime as well as for our charter brokers. This campaign will be supported by new events such as a charter yacht function in Sydney during October and build on the successful Soiree event that was held in February this year.”
New legislation passed in December 2019 opened up Australia’s glorious cruising grounds to charter for foreign flagged vessels for the very first time. While the Great Barrier Reef region is world-renowned for its kaleidoscopic diving attractions, there are plenty more experiences all around the country from the rugged Kimberley in the north to the southern isolated paradise of Tasmania. Even for well-travelled Australians, it would be nigh on impossible to have seen and experience all the wonders that this country offers, and there is no better way to explore them now than on a superyacht charter.