Growth earns $42m

THE growing superyacht and yachting industry in Fiji is estimated to bring in $42 million annually, as the country sees a surge in visits.

According to Yacht Help Fiji and Port Denarau Marina, 2017 was a strong year with a recorded 554 cruising yachts and 65 superyachts making a visit to Fiji waters.

“Each superyachts average visit to Fiji was 79 days with the average spend during that time a whopping $F435,000 per yacht,” a statement from the yachting companies said.

“Superyachts that were chartered in Fiji also grew with a total of 11 weeks of charter taking place. This may not sound like much but a one-week holiday on a 50-metre superyacht will set you back around $US200,000 ($F410,450) plus food and fuel.”

The industry has also seen more cruising yachts undertaking most of their repair and maintenance of while in Fiji providing essential employment to skilled locals.

“Fiji is on its way to becoming the hub of the South Pacific for these vessels and a playground for the ultra-rich and famous. Every superyacht owner or charter is a potential investor for Fiji and there have seen some resort developments financed by superyacht owners.

“This fact dramatically adds the value of this industry,” the statement said.

“We are also seeing a surge in the employment of Fijians as crew on these yachts and there are a few Fijians that are now successful superyacht captains,” it added.