Report reveals Superyacht growth potential in Far North Queensland
Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef has welcomed the findings of a new report on the economic impact of superyachts in the Cairns region.
The report, which identifies Cairns as one of the major hot spots for the sector, is continuing to bring new jobs and prosperity to Far North Queensland.
The ‘Economic Impact of the Superyacht Sector on the Australian Economy’ by Superyacht Australia, identifies some 1,100 jobs and $103.7m injected directly into the Cairns and Whitsunday region economies. It also states that legislative, planning and policy support to allow foreign vessels charter rights in Australian waters would open the door to a 70% growth by 2021.
“We have supported the push with Superyacht Australia for policy changes so that our region can realise its full potential in this exciting industry,” Superyacht Group GBR manager Joanne Drake said. “We work closely with all stakeholders to lobby for this change so that Cairns, already identified as a go-to port by the international superyacht community, will reap the benefits.”
Superyacht Group GBR Chair Carrie Carter said: “In close association with Superyacht Australia’s national committee, we are pleased the Qld Government has reviewed this report to which it provided funding. The EIS will be used as evidence to remove barriers and support the ability for Foreign Flagged superyachts to charter in Australia and enhance the growth of the Superyacht Industry as documented in this study”.
The Super Yacht Group Great Barrier, a non-profit, membership based consortium is proactive internationally in promoting Cairns and the region as the perfect home port for superyachts. It attends major boat shows around the world, such as The Monaco Yacht Show, Ft Lauderdale Boat Show, The Singapore Yacht Show and Rendezvous in Tahiti and Fiji. With the assistance of the Cairns Regional Council the group also hosts numerous inbound familiarisation tours.
The group believes Cairns is perfectly placed with all the required infrastructure and services within a ten minute radius of the world class Marlin Marina, including an international airport. The marina has a capability of docking superyachts up to 140M. An obvious draw card also is the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage Tropical Rainforest. Being the central hub to many of the current cruising hotspots for superyachts such as PNG, Indonesia, Thailand, Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand makes Cairns a logistical port of call.
Ports North is among the major supporters of the superyacht industry with the Cairns Marlin Marina providing a range of dedicated superyacht berths.
“We provide the facilities for one of the most popular superyacht destinations in Australia,” Ports North Chairman Russell Beer said. “For more than 18 years, these multimillion dollar vessels have been returning to Cairns to explore the region’s attractions and make use of our expert tradespeople and three world-class shipyards.”
Mr Beer said superyachts are reported to spend around 10 per cent of their purchase price per annum in maintenance.
“So if it's a $50 million yacht, they're estimated spend on maintenance is $5 million. So this is a great industry for Cairns, and we need to see these economic opportunities grow – especially in relation to homeporting and vessel charter.
“Superyacht Group GBR is on the case and we will continue to support their work to ensure Cairns remains a premiere superyacht destination in the country.”