Ocean Magazine – ASMEX: key learnings
Part of an industry panel presenting at the ASMEX conference, Ocean Alliance shares insight on local and global trends.
Images Ocean Alliance
The 6th edition of the Australian Superyacht & Marine Export Conference (ASMEX) was held on Queensland’s Gold Coast, drawing senior industry proponents from across the region, the US, Asia, Central America, Italy and the UK.
Speaking as part of a panel comprising charter professionals and representatives from Australian cruising destinations, Jo Howard, Ocean Alliance Managing Director, nominated increasing charter enquiries from domestic and international markets as a current trend.
“There are now an increased number of yachts on MYBA Yachtfolio that are available for charter in Australia. Australia certainly has a more significant presence and is generating interest from US and European brokers and clients.
Ocean Alliance was recently appointed Central Agent for the 42-metre Anda, Australia’s only luxury expedition charter yacht in the Kimberley region, Sovereign, a 44.2-metre superyacht cruising Sydney and the Whitsundays, and SilentWorld, a 39.6-metre motor yacht available in the Whitsundays and South Pacific.
Each of these is a world-class charter vessel that provides the pinnacle of professional service and tailored itineraries for guests.
“Australia is a unique proposition, and certainly on the radar of high-net worth travellers the world over,” he told delegates on day 2 of the conference.
“An island continent of 7,682,300 square kilometres – about the same size as continental USA – Australia is the world’s largest island between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and offers a range of vastly different charter experiences. It’s our job to convey the wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered.”
Most people are familiar with the 74 tropical islands of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef, abounding with diving, angling and encounters with nature, and the iconic Harbour and waterways of Sydney. But then there are the emerging regions such as the breathtaking remote Kimberley Coast in north-west Australia with its dramatic desert landscape and crystalline rivers, and the pristine wilderness of Tasmania in the south which boasts nature and gourmet experiences.
“Australia provides such geographically diverse destinations with 365 days a year cruising opportunities” said Mr Howard.
Key to exploring the myriad wonders of this country is a scintillating calendar of events catering to every interest and inclination. “Charterers can plan their itinerary around key events and be assured there is no off-season!” said Mr Howard. “It’s always summer cruising somewhere in Australia.”
Melbourne hosts the Australian Grand Prix and celebrated Australian Open Tennis each year as well as being home to the country’s best shopping, Festivals, cultural and sporting events. Sydney, crowned by the magnificent Opera House, is renowned for its vibrant waterfront festivals and outdoor events, many of them centred around the Harbour.
“New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour is one of the most recognised cityscapes in the world,” said Mr Howard. “Lit up with fireworks, the Harbour Bridge and city is a truly spectacular backdrop to welcoming in the New Year aboard a luxury charter yacht.”
Mr Howard, who has been reappointed as a National Committee member with Superyacht Australia, recommended the Australian charter and superyacht industry commit to a unified program of marketing and education, complemented by famils for key media and charter industry identities to capitalise on this surge in enquiry for charter in Australia and the South Pacific.
“People are definitely looking for new cruising grounds and Australia is seen as a fascinating, safe destination for yacht charter. It’s now up to us to present the full array of activities and attractions – whether that’s the sophisticated city experience, complete immersion in nature, or a blend of both.”