Fiji tops superyachts, yachties’ choice, 2017 strongest year

MORE than 554 cruising yachts and 65 superyachts visited Fiji last year, making it the strongest year for the yachting industry.

Port Denarau general manager Cynthia Rasch said superyachts now chose Fiji as their destination of choice.

“Each superyacht’s average length of stay in Fiji was 79 days with an average spending of $435,000 per yacht,” she said.

“Local superyachts were also being chartered with an average of 11 weeks per yacht.

“This may not sound like much, but a one-week holiday on a 50-metre superyacht costs around $400,000 plus food and fuel.

“Fiji is seeing some of the world’s most influential and wealthiest people now making Fiji their top and regular destinations.”

Ms Rasch said Fiji was on its way to becoming the hub of the South Pacific for the vessels and a playground for the ultra-rich and famous.

She says each superyacht owner or hirer was a potential investor for Fiji, including some resort developments financed by superyacht owners.

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

“The smaller cruising yacht sector has shown good growth. Most of these smaller yachts are spending money in the outer islands often where there is no tourism activity.

“There are opportunities in the islands to sell fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and basic foodstuff.

“Meke and lovo can also be sources of revenue as well as tour guiding, moorings and marine protected areas.”

Ms Rasch said the superyacht and yachting industry was now worth more than $42 million.

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