Australia Moves to Boost Superyacht Industry

Coral Sea Marina Resort in the Whitsundays, Queensland
Coral Sea Marina Resort in the Whitsundays, Queensland

By The Maritime Executive 11-27-2019 05:44:29

The Australian Government has introduced the Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019 that will allow foreign owned superyachts to charter in Australia.

The move is expected to unlock an estimated 11,800 jobs and A$1.64 billion in revenue to the Australian economy by 2021.

Charter vessels make up more than half of the world’s superyacht fleet. There are currently more than 5,000 superyachts in the world, growing each year by an additional 150 new yachts. Previously these vessels could not operate commercially in Australia unless they fully imported the vessel, which was a major deterrent to foreign superyacht owners considering cruising Australian waters.

Australians dominate the superyacht industry with over a quarter of the world’s Captains and crew, over 14,000 people, hailing from the nation. 
David Good, CEO of Superyacht Australia, welcomed the news of the Bill moving through Parliament. “Now is the critical time to act. We commend the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael McCormack for introducing this bill today. Huge events in the Pacific over the next 18 months will mean large numbers of superyachts will be in our region. The Tokyo Olympics in July 2020 and the America's Cup in Auckland 2021 are expected to bring around 160 superyachts to our region – which is on the radar for superyacht owners for the marvelous cruising grounds and world-class service facilities Australia offers.”

The main industries that will benefit will be tradespeople and small businesses, says Superyacht Australia, as each vessel spends 10 to 12 percent of the vessel’s value each year in maintenance, service and repairs. 

The likely change to legislation will allow Australia to catch up to our neighbors who all have booming superyacht economies, says Good. New Zealand, Fiji and Tahiti enjoy thriving marine industries, dominated by charter vessels.