Northern Australia floats plan to lure luxury superyachts

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-17 14:21:48|Editor: ZX
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SYDNEY, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Australian State of Queensland revealed a plan on Tuesday to lure some of the world's wealthiest leisure-seekers to it's shores, by offering greater benefits and services to the superyacht industry.

Superyachting is one of the world's most elite and costly hobbies, and over coming years the Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region in an already multi-billion dollar global market.

The boats themselves are luxurious, professionally-crewed, motor or sailing yachts ranging from as small as 24 metres, up to as large as 180 metres.

In an attempt to draw these vessels to it's tropical harbours, the Queensland government announced round two of grants from it's Superyacht Industry Development Fund.

The scheme will offer local marine operators up to 19 thousand Australian dollars (13 thousand U.S. dollars) in matched funding, to assist with business certifications, tradeshow participation and client attraction.

"Queensland is ready to be recognized as the key superyacht hub of the Asia-Pacific," Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said.

"When it comes to superyachts, Queensland has it all: location, infrastructure, workforce and industry capabilities."

According to the Queensland government's Superyacht Strategy, the industry could bring in as much as 1.1 billion Australian dollars (755 million U.S. dollars) to the south east region alone, as well as creating thousands of jobs.

Recently amended federal legislation is helping to achieve this by making foreign owned superyachts legally available for charter.

"This will attract more superyachts to Queensland, and it will lengthen their stay when they get here," Member for Cairns Michael Healy said.

Maintenance of superyachts is often undertaken where they charter, which creats opportunities for Australia's world class marine sector.

"It's a great outcome for Queensland and our many leading marine businesses right along the supply chain," Healy said.