Back in January I relayed details of how the Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef found a sympathetic ear in the new Australian government, which, among other things, promised to streamline the visa process for crew on foreign-flagged megayachts chartering Down Under. Now there’s more good news, this time on a local level. The Queensland state government has, with the assistance of the group and other regional marine-industry members, created the Queensland Superyacht Strategy 2008-2013.
In a nutshell, the plan will make the most of growth opportunities for megayacht-related businesses, bolstering Queensland’s reputation as a destination for cruising, receiving maintenance, refitting, and building. Popular spots like Cairns, Mackay/Whitsunday, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast are all within the state.
It’s a welcome move, considering Queensland contains the largest portion of Australia’s megayacht industry. The state government estimates that the regional businesses employed 350 people and generated AUS$125 million (US$115 million) last year and anticipates these figures will rise to 1,000 and AUS$500 million (US$460 million), respectively, within five years.
So how will the strategy be implemented? Intensive marketing campaigns, including supporting exhibitors at major boat shows, will highlight the area’s capabilities. Similarly, the government will bring together regional marine companies and the tourism industry to kick off campaigns. Other intentions: better balance the regulatory framework; foster collaboration among marine-industry businesses; create jobs for Queenslanders; and ensure economic growth takes into account environmental, social, and cultural impacts.
Ultimately the government intends to increase the number of megayacht visitors by an annual average of ten percent from this year through 2013. It also intends to increase the value of refit projects completed by Queensland shipyards by an annual average of ten percent over the same time period. And, of course, the government expects that visiting superyachts will spend a longer amount of time exploring the area.
If you’re interested in reading the full strategy document, you can download it here.