An absolutely breath-taking and exotic yacht charter destination, the economic benefit of superyachts visiting Fiji is significant.
The 2013 Marine Industry Survey, which has been put together every year for the past four years by Port Denarau Marina, revealed that around 700 yachts came to Fiji in 2010, 32 of which were superyachts. Since then, numbers dropped to 628 in 2011, including 37 superyachts, 662 in 2012, of which 40 were superyachts and 646 in 2013, including 40 superyachts.
While the number of superyachts visiting Fiji last year was more than in 2010 and 2011, it is the smaller yachts, under 80 foot long, that on average spend more money. The survey, released last week, found that the average spend of superyachts that visited Fiji in 2013 was estimated at $278,095 and that the total spend of superyachts last year was $11,123,800 while the smaller yachts spent $12,258,774.
Though last year saw the number of superyachts to Fiji increase, charter fees, stipulated by the Superyacht Charter Decree, fell from a total of $763,871 in 2012 to $252,421 in 2013. Overseas yachts that visited Fiji last year spent $28,607,128 - $5,123,996 of which was direct government revenue. A total of 1,240 guests on board superyachts were logged last year, the highest since 2010, while the number of guests on yachts under 80 foot fell from 4,567 in 2010 to 2,630 in 2013. The average length of stay for superyachts was 116 days, while smaller yachts stayed an average of 225 days, the longest since 2010.
The MD of Port Denarau Marina Ltd, Nigel Skeggs, believes that Fiji has now secured its place as a superyacht destination. "2014 has already started well with five super yachts currently exploring the waters of Fiji and as an industry we are very optimistic of a great year ahead," he said.
2014 has already started well with five super yachts currently exploring the waters of Fiji and as an industry we are very optimistic of a great year ahead
The survey "…does not take into account the discretionary personal spending of either crew or the vessel's guests while in Fiji, which cannot be accurately calculated," and was carried out on a survey sample of 173 vessels that visited Fiji in 2013.