Fast Changing World and Yachting Industry
The luxury yacht industry worldwide, like so many other industries, is addressing a number of challenges in today’s world.
Some of the hurdles that the yachting industry currently faces include:
- Environmental Concerns: With the increasing awareness of climate change and the impact of human activities on the environment, yachting, like almost every luxury industry and pastime, is focused on taking real actions to become more environmentally friendly. Yachts, just like cars and air transport, do contribute to environmental pollution, and despite the increasingly stringent and ever-evolving laws and regulations put into play by Governments and industry bodies around the world, there is much more to do in terms of the impact both vessel and user have on marine life and coastal ecosystems.
- Rising Costs: Notwithstanding that yachts, and the lifestyle of yachting, is a purchase of passion, increased costs in building new and operating such vessels can result in first-time owners and charterers coming new to the sector (almost 40% of clients with Fraser Yachts in the last 2 years) reconsidering their options. There are a number of solutions, the revenue streams owners can benefit from in making their yachts available to others for charter, being one popular option.
- Changing Consumer Preferences: The preferences of consumers in the yachting industry are changing, with a growing interest in experiential travel and sustainable tourism. This means that yacht owners and charter companies need to adapt to these changing preferences to remain attractive and competitive.
- Regulations: As noted above, the yachting industry is subject to a complex set of regulations and rules, which can be challenging for owners (and even charterers) to navigate. These regulations cover everything from safety and security to environmental impact and tax compliance.
- Talent Shortage: With the unprecedented increase in interest and demand for luxury yachting in the last 2 years, we have started to notice a shortfall in experienced and skilled professionals within the yachting industry, particularly in areas such as crewing, engineering, and maintenance.
- Geopolitical Instability: Political instability in certain regions of the world can have a direct effect on how and where owners and charterers enjoy their yachting. When owners or charterers feel there may be risks attached, they tend to look for other ways and other places to enjoy their quality downtime with families or friends.
Overall, the yachting industry faces a range of challenges. However, many of these are not new, and indeed most also present opportunities for innovation and growth.
In my position at Fraser Yachts, a worldwide full-service brokerage house that has been serving owners and charterers across all aspects of the luxury yacht sector for over 75 years, and based on my personal experience of serving on multiple types of ships ranging from 30 to 350 meters in length over the years, I realise the importance that taking a stance to actively make the difference for this industry, our clients, captains, and crew really makes.
Initiatives such as the Fraser FUTURE program (Fraser Unites To Universally Respect the Environment) are vital in focusing the efforts of all stakeholders across the industry – be they engineers, designers, builders, marina operators, managers, marketeers, owners, captains, crew – towards discovering and activating solutions. The only way to address these challenges with continued success is by all sectors of expertise coming together – because all sectors of our industry are part of the problem and part of the solution.
I am proud to say that Fraser Yachts, and the 200+ professionals within it, has shown itself to be one leading player that today is very much a part of the solution – a model many others have shown they are keen to follow.
Contributor: Oleg Symonenko, MBA Maritime Engineering, FRASER Technical Superintendent, Chief Engineer Unlimited