America's Cup 2021: The Islands of Tahiti poised to draw more superyachts
TAHITI TOURISME is stepping up its support of this prestigious niche market by creating the "TAHITI TOURISME Superyacht Cluster" : a group of committed yachting professionals rising to the challenge of 2021, when twice as many superyachts are expected in The Islands of Tahiti before, during and after the America's Cup in New Zealand.
TAHITI TOURISME's efforts to promote The Islands of Tahiti to the luxury yachting community, and to superyachts in particular, are being rewarded with a significant increase in traffic. This year, about 60 of the most prestigious yachts in the world cruise the pristine waters of French Polynesia, a playground as large as Europe and as diverse as its many islands. That number is expected to double by 2021, driven by the America's Cup in New Zealand.
The Islands of Tahiti is especially well suited to become a world-class superyacht destination: it's the gateway to the South Pacific, its size and navigation conditions are optimal even beyond the May-November high season, it offers a unique level of privacy and safety from international upheavals, and provides professional yacht services to the most demanding owners and captains.
The Islands of Tahiti stepping up its superyacht game
TAHITI TOURISME's promotion efforts include participating in major international boat shows such as Fort Lauderdale, Singapore or Monaco; organizing famil trips and seminars for international professionals; encouraging trade media outlets and television production companies to cover Polynesian yachting; and maintaining contact through newsletters, web sites and promotional media. This month, TAHITI TOURISME introduced the "TAHITI TOURISME Superyacht Cluster" and its founding members, three major yacht services companies (Tahiti Superyacht Support, Tahiti Yacht Services, Tahiti Océan) and Tahiti Private Expeditions.
Together, they will prepare for 2021 : "We can expect to see many superyachts crossing the Pacific to and back from New Zealand, sailing through French Polynesia which is the gateway to the South Pacific. A positive impact for The Islands of Tahiti, but at the same time, an important challenge for our destination : our infrastructures are not quite ready yet to welcome so many superyachts. It will be the main focus of our work," says Vaihere Lissant, Marketing and Communications Director at TAHITI TOURISME.
One happy sailor : Captain Michael Gooding
"I came for the scenery, and then I came back for the people," says the captain of M/S Silentworld, Michael Gooding. For the last ten years, he has spent three months a year in French Polynesia with the ship's owner or with charter clients. And he's happy to act as an ambassador for The Islands of Tahiti : "French Polynesia is my favorite destination, he says, because I know I can get my clients anything they want : five-star hotels, haute cuisine, fresh local produce, scuba diving, cultural events, incredible seascapes and landscapes… all the things that travelers dream of."
While expecting its next charter at Tahiti's Marina Taina, Silentworld hosted the press conference that introduced the new TAHITI TOURISME Superyacht Cluster. Captain Gooding expressed his appreciation for Tahitian crew members. He always recruits local help, mostly stewardesses and deck hands. But he also found a Tahitian Pearl : since June, his first officer is Shirley Puth, a 26-year old from Tahiti who put herself through maritime school, and the first Tahitian woman to rise to that rank. He hopes that her example inspires other young Polynesians, and that the upcoming America's Cup allows more superyachts to discover the magic of The Islands of Tahiti.