Asia-Pacific Superyacht Association outline plans for 2022
We speak to APSA about exciting developments and pressing issues in an untapped region of the market…
There is arguably no body of water with a higher degree of untapped potential for yachting than the Asia-Pacific. According to the Hurun Global Rich List, there are over 1,000 billionaires in China alone. The physical landscape is also just as surprising, Japan has roughly 50 percent more coastline than the US, and if one were to stretch out the entire Asian coastline, it would be three times longer than the equator. Considering these statistics, it’s no surprise that the Asia-Pacific Superyacht Association is doing a hard push to promote yachting in the region.
Nigel Beatty, Founding member of APSA, outlined some of the plans he had for events this year, although admitted that the COVID-19 situation has brought about a certain degree of uncertainty, “It’s still up in the air whether we can do any sort of physical event effectively. However, online conferences, seminars and webinars and things like that I think work really well. The great thing about doing a webinar we found is that you can do an hour online and people from all over the world can join, and it's not really taken up too much of their time. You can find out a lot of information in an hour and have questions and then everyone can go about their business and then a week or two weeks later, you do another one. So, we're going to try and expand on that this year.”
APSA is aiming to target specific sectors of the market in order to not only educate the rest of the market, but to drive the discourse into a direction that will eventually enact tangible change. With Asia being such an enormous region with a huge variety of governing bodies and legal standpoints, Beatty is keen to make sure different locations are receiving the right support for either their technical or cruising potential.
Beatty highlighted, “We're going to concentrate on brokerage in the region. We're going to maybe do a talk on charter regulations in the region. And obviously we're also going to do snapshots of various cruising areas made meeting micro snapshots. Indonesia is a massive area. So maybe one specific area is Raja Ampat, and we could do a really nice cruising snapshot of that over twenty slides including what you can do there on the shore and the formalities to get in and out.”
As can be seen on the migration graph provided by The Superyacht Agency, Raja Ampat is already a particularly popular cruising. The Archipelago comprises of 1,500 islands which feature particularly good diving spots due to the abundance of marine life and coral reefs. According to a report developed by The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International, around 75 per cent of the world's species live in the region.
Christophe Ceard, Vice president of APSA also weighed in on his thoughts for the future of the region as the world hopefully becomes more distanced from the COVID-19 pandemic. “Logically, Asia really locked themselves in because of the pandemic. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think that the charter businesses really enjoyed that period of time and I imagine that's 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 support the industry. And every day you have more and more Asian buyers.” Shipyards in Northern Europe have suggested that recently there has been growing interest stemming from Asia to build large yachts in the 100m plus category.
The data garnered from The Superyacht Agency is particularly interesting because it reveals just how big the yachts are that are travelling into South East Asia. Almost half of all yacht entries are over 50 metres and 44 per cent have over 500 GT. What's more is that only 14 per cent of the yachts cruising South East Asia have been built in either China, Australia, or New Zealand. The region appears to be particularly popular with owners who have had their superyachts built in either Italy or the Netherlands as they make up 42 per cent of the fleet cruising that area.
There are of course some limitations to chartering in the Asia-Pacific due to the different chartering laws, Beatty explained that, “The fact is that when all the countries start being able to charter, then you can have everything linked all over Australia and all over Asia for chartering, so the yachts can move from country to country and charter in the whole region. So once more and more countries do bring it in, then it becomes more and more feasible. By the way, in some of these countries you can charter, but you have to join the yacht from a different country. So, if we had a yacht that wanted to charter in Japan, the clients would have to come into maybe Taipei, in Taiwan, or Pusan, Korea and then run into Japan from there; and then they could carry on the charter. Hopefully if more countries can change their charter laws then 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 go, industry stakeholders will be eagerly anticipating how the surge of interest and migration in the Asia-Pacific will pan out. While the actual infrastructure for accommodating and servicing superyachts in the region remains intact, the focus now will be to get governing bodies to sign across the dotted line. The wider market as well as the potential clients in Asia are already relatively well educated, which is credited by the fact that so many Asians are going to Europe to have their superyachts built. APSA now have the unenvious challenge of educating politicians and government officials in their bid to tackle inhibitive bureaucracy in Asia.
Singapore through the years
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