Photography by Sheree Burke / AIMEX-Superyacht Australia
The two-day ASMEX Conference resulted in a renewed energy in the Australian marine industry, which was crystallised into key points by conference chair, Martin Redmayne.
The day was dominated by the presentation of the recent economic impact study which clearly demonstrated yachting’s impact on the Australian economy at nearly AUD$2 billion impact and could be a great deal more with appropriate regulation by government of foreign yachts chartering. However, the concepts of collaboration and shared vision were evident as well.
“The ASMEX Conference has been a great line up of speakers – the best yet!” stated Carl Amor, Director of Aqualuma. “There is also a good representation from government which is pleasing to see they have taken the time to come and listen. One of the key issues for delegates at the conference was to drive home the barrier they continue to face with the fact foreign flagged vessels cannot charter in Australia.
“There is strong unity in the industry moving forward to get the new regulations implemented.”
It was the most attended conference to date with a significant number of Captains attending and speaking. The captains’ panel perfectly exemplified the superior destinations Australia can offer to guests onboard a yacht as well as the faith captains and crew have in the services and infrastructure to refit and maintain yachts – some saying they received better service in Australian yards than those in the Mediterranean.
Mr Redmayne informed the room that there are only 195 berths in the Mediterranean capable of accommodating a yacht 60metres+ yet an order book far exceeding that. The yachts must go somewhere so why not Australia for superlative cruising and trades?
Still with solidarity in mind, the room committed to form a group of professionals from Fiji, Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia to devise a strategic plan for collaborative marketing of the region and work with partners to increase the traffic to all destinations in the South Pacific.
Sevenstar Yacht Transport as a service provider to the region was very supportive. “This is the best edition of this conference I have attended. The economic impact study was fascinating and helpful to our business. I hope the impact of the study and resolutions of the conference results in the changes to Australian charter regulations. This would see an increase in our services to Australia,” said Peter Staalsmid from Sevenstar.
Delegates heard from speakers from the UAE, USA, UK, Holland, New Zealand, Tahiti and Canada plus professionals in insurance, foreign exchange and Australian survey requirements.
The final speaker was Farouk Nefzi from Feadship who led a spellbound audience through a presentation on the state of the global yachting industry and the future.
“It has been four years since I attended ASMEX and I am pleasantly surprised to see the growth in attendance and maturity of the topics discussed.
“In many ways, Australia is very well positioned to capture the growth in the charter, refit and maintenance markets however, it is obvious the current regime regulating international yachts and their ability to charter is limiting not only the potential but the promotion of the destination.
“Feadship would happily promote itineraries and destinations in Australia to our clients if we were confident that the regulatory environment was clear, user-friendly and lived up to the promise the destination could provide.”
Mr Redmayne closed the two-day conference, summarising the findings into several succinct points which covered collaborative marketing, lobbying strategies, ambassador and education programmes, key selling points for Australia as a destination and a win by the Kiwis in Bermuda at the 35th America’s Cup!