27 Jun 2012
It's all about the destination as charter website changes focus
YachtWorldCharters.com has announced the relaunch of its website to better reflect the search preferences of its clients. The website, which operates its online charter search service by collating yachts for charter from its member companies, has changed from a 'yacht-focused' site to a 'destination focused' one after analysing the search patterns of its users.
The website has been completely redesigned and rebuilt around the premise of 'anywhere in the world' chartering. The interface appears to encourage the adventurous charterer wanting to explore new terrain, with a 'destinations' tab allowing browsing by regions as remote as the Kiribati islands in South Pacific to the more obvious Mediterranean. There is also an 'explore' tab which divides the globe up into neat sections – South East Asia, Europe and other charter destinations – opening up a vast swathe of destinations that charterers may not previously have been aware of.
It's the destination that counts: homepage of YachtWorldCharters.com
There are inherent difficulties with a destinations focus on charter nonetheless. There will inevitably be more yachts on offer in the Med or Caribbean, which is where clients more typically like to charter or where owners leasing out their yachts will want them to be for when next required.
To put this to the test SuperyachtNews.com conducted a search on the more intrepid destinations - a search on Madagascar and the Arctic Circle for example – and found it yielded no search results. However, a nifty feature of the site allows the user to drag the map which flashes up to the nearest destination that has yachts for charter. In the case of the Arctic circle this was 92 yachts in North America. And for a hotter adventure in Kenya, site of English Point Marina, East Africa's first luxury superyacht marina, this also yielded no yachts, but the map showed one (intriguingly) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and three in nearby Seychelles. This is clearly, for SuperyachtNews.com at least, likely to harness the market's increasing desire to explore all four corners of the globe, albeit remotely.
Hot adventure: Caribbean Virgin Gorda is one of the featured locations, credit Neil Rabinowitz
Charter companies obviously offer an extensive service in tailoring holidays for their clients and YachtWorldCharters.com is not looking to detract from this. Its members are in fact charter companies, which advertise on the site in exchange for the exposure and referral potential their listing provides. The service the website offers charterers is therefore more of a tool for them to start their charter adventure rather than bypass the charter company. Cementing this role is the site's option to send an enquiry to the charter company listing the yacht, or to contact the website itself for more information.
The redesign and its shift in focus does mean those looking to choose a specific yacht tailor-made for them - a Chinese inspired interior for example, or a yacht launched in the last five years say – are limited in their options. Certainly there are boxes to tick for 'jacuzzi and 'Children OK' but the specific and very personal demands of the client are arguably not found in the automated nature of the process. The shift to destinations therefore doubly makes sense as it's not feasible to list yachts available online in any depth.
A basic search on yachts for charter can be run on the site
To stimulate interest on destinations further, the site has contributing writers on topics including how to plan a charter itinerary and not-to-be-missed Pacific destinations. Its owner Dominion Marine Media (DMM) also plans to include a 'social community component' which will allow consumers to share their experiences and engage with each other.
Although the site brings up searches on yachts of all sizes, the concept is still an interesting one for the superyacht industry. Its breadth of information focused on destination will also likely prove a winner with those at the start of their journey, seeking information on the destination of their choice before making their more in-depth enquiries with the charter companies.
English Point Marina Website
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