Yacht Charter Industry Witnessing a Phase of Recovery

Sep 05,2015

Yacht chartering has picked up pace as the global economy recovers from the economic crisis of 2007-08. Yacht chartering industry has had to cope up with financial uncertainty, inclement weather and threat of pirates in the recent past. However, of late, a resurgence has been witnessed in the global yacht chartering industry, with corporate bookings on the rise.

The key factors that have contributed to the increasing popularity of yacht charters include rising number of yacht owners, availability of technologically advanced yachts, development of exotic charter destinations, and popularity of yachts among the corporate sector.

Charter destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas are leading the way as far as development of new destinations is concerned. Other charter destinations that are gaining popularity among vacationers include the British Virgin Islands, Mexico, New Zealand, and Australia. Yacht charter enthusiasts are also showing interest in destinations in the Pacific Northwest, popular for orcas and sea lions.

Key Trends in the Yacht Charter Industry

Considering the fierce competition in the yacht charter industry, most of the brokers are focusing on boosting consumer experience. Improving the aesthetics of the yacht and incorporating advanced technology are some of the ways in which brokers are trying to build their presence.

Focus on interior design is picking up pace in the yacht chartering industry, with use of exotic leather for upholstery in an upswing. Investment in modern furniture, woodwork, and aesthetically-pleasing lighting are some of the trends witnessed in the yacht charter industry.

Another trend currently being witnessed in the yacht charter industry is the preference for large-sized yachts. In a bid to reduce per person cost, vacationers book a yacht in large numbers, owing to which the demand for large yachts has witnessed an increase in the recent past. However, medium-sized yachts (30m -50m) still have a higher market share, accounting for 51.8% of the total yachts in 2014.

Consideration for the environment is also growing among yacht charter companies. Retrofitting old yachts in order to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions is gaining momentum among yacht charter companies. The efforts of The Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA) are commendable in spreading awareness about the importance of maintaining eco-friendly yachts. The organisation issues ‘Green Plus’ notation to environmental-friendly yachts on the basis of environment performance index.

Yacht charter companies are using digital media to raise brand awareness and showcase their offerings. Through promotional videos, informative articles, blog posts, and social media marketing, yacht charter companies are trying to spread the word about their business. The target audience of yacht charter companies includes well-to-do professionals and entrepreneurs, and yacht charter companies are putting in the effort to provide exceptional customer service and comfort to their clients.

Classification of Yachts

Charter yachts can be broadly categorised into sailing and motor. While both these types of yachts have their takers, currently sailing yachts have the higher demand in the market. Sailing yachts accounted for nearly 79% of the total yacht charters around the globe, and the dominance is expected to prevail in the near future.

Yacht charters are also categorised on the basis of their hull configuration into displacement type, semi-displacement, planing, catamarans, and trimarans. Among these yacht charters with a displacement type hull configuration are most popular among vacationers. This category accounted for nearly 40% of the total yachts in the market in 2014.

Yachts are also classified on the basis of their rig configuration into sloop, schooner, catamaran, ketch. Among these, sloop yachts are available in a wide range, and usually they are faster than other yachts. Sloop yachts are around 43% of the total yachts available for chartering.

Overall, the yacht charter industry is witnessing a phase of recovery, and as the global economy recovers further, demand is expected to increase.

The information in this article is sourced from Future Market Insights’ latest market research report, “Yacht Charter Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015-2020”