It is time to sit back and take a breath. The last month and a half has seen the Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) and the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), two of the superyacht industry’s busiest and arguably most important shows, pass in a whirlwind of meetings and networking drinks, old faces and new faces. There are few ways that are equal to the power of these shows when it comes to building meaningful relationships, gauging the current state of the superyacht industry and helping promote Australia as a key player in the marketplace.
For Bray Management, both MYS and FLIBS were an extremely good opportunity to share the news about the evolving Australian charter regulations with the wider industry. At MYS I was invited by the International Superyacht Society (ISS) to present an update on the important legislative changes that Australia is on the cusp of making. A major barrier to owners exploring off-the-beaten-track is often the expense—most will want to know that the costs of getting their yacht half way across the world can be offset by chartering their yacht out when they are not on board. Less restrictive charter regulations will encourage more owners to make the trip south. And, of course, a greater variety of charter yachts available in the region will encourage more charter visitors. Thanks to lobbying by Superyacht Australia, and its member companies, of which we’re one, temporary superyacht licenses for non-Australian vessels are being issued by the Australian government, enabling them to cruise in in the country’s waters for up to 12 months with visas for the entire crew. We hope that permanent changes will be implemented in the next few months, encouraging more owners and vessels to come to Australia.
Alongside its lobbying role, the importance of Superyacht Australia in unifying Australian superyacht businesses and presenting a national ‘brand’ at international boat shows cannot be underestimated. Businesses in a country like Australia require a collaborative rather than purely competitive outlook when it comes to marketing. As the leading body of the Australian industry, Superyacht Australia (which I am proud to have recently been elected a committee member of) is dedicated to supporting its member companies by both attracting yachts to the local market and aiding local companies connect to a wider client audience in the global superyacht sphere. At international boat shows like MYS and FLIBS, the unified approach and regional brand presence of a body like this is a powerful tool.
The moods at the shows on both sides of the pond felt overwhelmingly positive. The tendency in previous years has always been to be cautious with any optimism, but it seemed to me that during this year’s MYS, for a good many, the cautiousness had finally given way to pure optimism. Clients were present and receptive, meaningful meetings and conversations were being had, and the Australia Superyacht Pavilion saw a lot of significant traffic.
Here’s to seeing tangible positive results for the Australian superyacht industry from MYS and FLIBS in the coming months.