By David Robinson

A new superyacht alliance, South Pacific Superyachting, has been created to promote regional cruising in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tahiti. The new group, which was highlighted at the recent ASMEX conference, recognises cooperation initiatives that were already in place between the four countries.

Formed by NZ Marine, Port Denarau Marina in Fiji, Tourism Tahiti and Superyacht Australia, the new group is part of a wider vision to promote the whole of Asia Pacific as the third superyacht cruising area after the Med and Caribbean. The initiative was launched at the annual Superyacht Australia Tahiti Rendezvous at Marina Taina last week, with the key objective of attracting more superyachts to the region.

In a press statement the new organisation said: “With most yachts which cruise the Pacific exploring multiple of the region’s island nations, South Pacific Superyachting provides one touch-point for the captain, owner’s rep or management house to plan the yacht’s time in the South Pacific.”

Nigel Skeggs of Port Denarau Marina in Fiji says: “Working as a cohesive unit to move yachts through the South Pacific is a step that will produce real benefit for the superyacht, marine and tourism industries within the region. With well-established routes and clear communication on how to best make the most of the region, yachts will circulate more, stay longer and – crucially – entertain more guests during their time in the region. And that means tangible benefits for the regions’ economies and a rapidly developing, adventurous new cruising ground for the global fleet to discover.”

NZ Marine CEO Peter Busfield, who initiated the project alongside Tourism NZ, says: “Joining forces to market the region as one cruising destination was the logical step forward for the South Pacific nations. The region has everything a yacht requires from cruising grounds – on-land entertainment and world-class boatbuilding and refit facilities.”

“Destinations within the region have all worked hard to promote their own cruising grounds, and as a by-product of that promotion, the greater region,” adds Maryanne Edwards, CEO of Superyacht Australia. “The four countries offer sheltered coves, ports, superyacht marinas and of course thousands of unpopulated islands and beaches for yacht owners, family and friends to enjoy.”

The governments of the four major Pacific countries now have user-friendly rules that allow yachts to stay longer in each country, and passage from one country to the other is as simple as possible. The South Pacific also offers something of tangible value to charter yachts – an exciting, relatively untouched and very desirable location to add to their marketing mix. This is something that South Pacific Superyachting will help them to achieve.

“The plan for the marine industries of Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and the islands of Tahiti to collaborate in promoting the South Pacific as a destination for visiting superyachts is a great idea, in addition to each country’s own promotion to attract high net worth visitors from around the world,” says Tahiti Tourisme CEO Paul Sloan.

The goal of the group is to double the number of superyachts that currently visit the South Pacific annually and the number of days they spend in the region by 2018. Key to that aim is ensuring that the region holds strong appeal for both private and charter yachts, and that the parties involved are active in streamlining charter yacht entry laws between countries.