International growth in Super, Mega and Gigayachts is representing a multi-billion dollar business opportunity for Queensland, Minister for Tourism, Regional Development and Industry, Desley Boyle announced in Cairns this week.
At the launch of the Queensland Superyacht Strategy, Ms Boyle said while the Caribbean had long been a haven for the international superyacht industry, Queensland had the potential to steal the mantle.
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“We know we have the perfect natural marine environment that is unmatched anywhere in the world,” Ms Boyle said
“But there is much more to the industry than just the benefits received from hosting the world’s holidaying rich and elite.
“Manufacturing, refitting, maintenance is where the serious money and opportunities exist.
“The average cost of a new superyacht is around $40 million with annual operating and maintenance costs averaging around ten percent – that’s a minimum of $4 million each year, per boat based in Queensland.”
Ms Boyle said the Queensland Superyacht Strategy was just part of the Queensland Government’s plan to make the state economy reliant on more than just ‘rocks and crops’.
“The Queensland Government has worked closely with the private sector to identify key industries that hold significant economic and employment opportunities for Queensland.
“There is no doubt that the marine industry holds so much untapped potential but until now there has never been a coordinated approach to superyachting in Queensland.
“It is estimated that the industry in Queensland currently employs approximately 350 people and generates $125million for the state annually.
“Under this plan over the next five years we will see the private and charter superyacht industry grow to employ around 1,000 Queenslanders and generate around a half billion dollars.
“This will be achieved by:
• Increasing marketing of Queensland superyachting internationally;
• Attracting new manufacturing, maintenance and refit businesses while increasing visitation;
• Removing regulatory restrictions for the superyacht industry; and
• Facilitating the development of world-class marine infrastructure.
Ms Boyle said the key superyacht regions identified under the plan include:
• The Gold Coast
“This industry has grown massively world-wide from 3,500 boats in 2002 to 7,000 in 2008, and another 916 new boats under construction.
“In fact in 1999 only four superyachts visited Queensland, increasing to 60 in 2006 and over the past three years to more than 200.
“By investing in growing this industry we are investing in the future of Queensland,” she said.
Queensland’s superyacht hubs are located in:
• Cairns – Already the superyacht hub of the South Pacific, Cairns attracts more superyachts than anywhere else in Australia. It’s also home to some of the most experienced, quality assured luxury refit and repair facilities in the Southern Hemisphere including Cairns Slipways and Norship Marine. Premier superyacht marinas including Cairns Marlin Marina and Marina Mirage Port Douglas are located on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The Superyacht Group – Great Barrier Reef is a model of industry clustering and development now being mirrored in other parts of the country.
• Mackay/Whitsundays – Here superyachts can experience the calm-water archipelago of Mackay, the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays and the southern atolls and reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. The region also boasts premier superyacht marinas including Laguna Quays Marina, Mackay Marina, Port of Airlie, Hamilton Island Marina and Abel Point Marina. Mackay is also a major heavy engineering hub with significant capacity to provide a range of maintenance services to the superyacht sector.
• Brisbane – The river city boasts a high calibre of internationally cost-competitive service provision and an outstanding track record in refitting, refurbishing and maintaining superyachts. With two major shipyards, Brisbane Marine Industry Park and Rivergate Marina and Shipyard, Brisbane now houses a thriving marine manufacturing and servicing industry with more than 150 businesses offering a complete range of services from electrical engineering and interior fit out to specialist superyacht finishes. The average number of superyachts visiting the region has increased by an average of 42 per cent every year over the past five years.
• Gold Coast – Superyacht Base Gold Coast City is a conglomerate of 50 companies working to attract more superyachts to Australia’s Glamour City. There are several marinas on the coast with dedicated facilities for superyachts and premium service provision, including Marina Oceanus, Palazzo Versace Marina, Southport Yacht Club, Sovereign Islands and Sanctuary Cove. The Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard is located on the Coomera River and has a 200-berth marina incorporating purpose-built superyacht berths and maintenance facilities.