SuperyachtNews.com – Owner – Asia Pacific Superyacht Association outlines plans for 2022
We talk with APSA about exciting developments and pressing issues in an untapped region of the market…
There is arguably no water body with greater untapped potential for yachting than Asia-Pacific. According to the Hurun Global Rich List, there are over 1,000 billionaires in China alone. The physical landscape is equally surprising, Japan has about 50% more coastline than the United States, and if one were to extend the entire Asian coastline, it would be three times longer than the equator. Given these statistics, it’s no surprise that the Asia-Pacific Superyacht Association is doing all it can to promote yachting in the region.
APSA founding member Nigel Beatty outlined some of the plans he had for this year’s events, although he admitted the COVID-19 situation has caused a degree of uncertainty: physical event effectively. However, I think online conferences, seminars and webinars and things like that work really well. The great thing about doing a webinar that we found is that you can do an hour online and people from all over the world can join, and it doesn’t really take too long. You can find a lot of information in an hour and ask questions, then everyone can go about their business, and then a week or two later you do another. So we will try to develop that this year.
APSA aims to target specific sectors of the market in order to not only educate the rest of the market, but also steer the discourse in a direction that will ultimately enact tangible change. With Asia being such a huge region with a wide variety of governing bodies and legal viewpoints, Beatty is keen to ensure that the various venues receive the right support for their technical or cruising potential.
Beatty underlined: “We will focus on brokerage in the region. Maybe we’ll talk about charter regulations in the area. And of course we’re also going to take snapshots of different navigation areas made of encounter micro snapshots. Indonesia is a huge region. So maybe one specific area is Raja Ampat, and we could do a really good cruising snapshot of over twenty slides, including what you can do there on the shore and how to get in and out.
As can be seen from the migration graph provided by The Superyacht Agency, Raja Ampat is already a particularly popular cruise. The archipelago comprises 1,500 islands which offer particularly good diving spots due to the abundance of marine life and coral reefs. According to a report compiled by The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International, approximately 75% of the world’s species live in the region.
APSA Vice President Christophe Ceard also expressed his thoughts on the future of the region as the world hopefully moves further away from the COVID-19 pandemic. “Logically, Asia has really locked itself down because of the pandemic. I could be wrong, but I don’t think the charter companies really enjoyed this period and I imagine it had a big impact on superyachting in Asia. But at the same time, I can see that Asia is really picking up and really helping to sustain the industry. And every day you have more and more Asian buyers. Northern European shipyards have suggested that there has recently been growing interest from Asia to build large yachts in the 100m+ category.
The data collected by The Superyacht Agency is particularly interesting as it reveals the size of the yachts that travel to Southeast Asia. Almost half of all registered yachts are over 50 meters and 44% have over 500 GT. Moreover, only 14% of the yachts sailing in Southeast Asia were built in China, Australia or New Zealand. The region seems to be particularly popular with owners who have had their superyachts built in Italy or the Netherlands, as they represent 42% of the fleet sailing in this region.
There are of course some limitations to chartering in Asia Pacific due to the different chartering laws, Beatty explained that “the point is when all the countries start being able to charter then you can have everything tied together in all over Australia and all over Asia for charter, so yachts can travel from country to country and charter throughout the region. So once more and more countries introduce it, it becomes more and more feasible. By the way, in some of these countries you can rent, but you have to join the yacht from another country. So if we had a yacht that wanted to charter in Japan, customers would have to come to maybe Taipei, Taiwan, or Pusan, Korea, and then race to Japan from there; and then they could sue the charter. Hopefully, if more countries can change their charter laws, it will create a snowball effect as countries see what other countries are doing.
With so many exciting developments already in place and ready to roll, industry stakeholders are eagerly anticipating the shift in interest and migration in Asia-Pacific. While the actual infrastructure to accommodate and maintain superyachts in the region remains intact, the focus will now be on signing governing bodies across the dotted line. The wider market as well as potential customers in Asia are already relatively well educated, which is credited to the fact that so many Asians travel to Europe to have their superyachts built. APSA now has the unenvious challenge of educating politicians and government officials in their attempt to tackle the inhibiting bureaucracy in Asia.
Singapore through the years
Asia-Pacific Superyacht Association
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