Fiji Yachting Industry Experiencing Significant Growth
By Maciu Malo
SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 25, 2013) – A total of 680 yachts berthed at Port Denarau in Nadi last year with more bookings already confirmed this year.
Port managing director Nigel Skeggs said the yachting industry had grown significantly contributing an average of $30 million (US$16.7 million) annually in foreign earnings over the last three years.
He said about $30 million was generated by the industry last year.
"We had 640 yachts and 42 super yachts that visited the marina last year and that is about the best year in terms of super yachts arriving in Fiji," Mr Skeggs said.
"In fact, the numbers for the super yachts grew significantly compared to 32 the year before. Another significant factor for these yachts, they stayed longer here in Fiji and the amount of spending is increasing all the time."
He acknowledged the government's support, especially for the Super Yacht Charter Decree "and that decree has generated millions of dollars for the government and I think it is very encouraging".
Yacht Help Fiji Limited managing director David Jamieson said yachting tourism in Fiji was steadily growing with Fiji becoming a yacht and super yacht hub of the South Pacific.
"Fiji offers some of the best cruising grounds in the world. Millions of investment dollars have been spent providing marinas and facilities for these yachts," Mr Jamieson said.
"The yachting industry in Fiji has been very active promoting our beautiful country and its world class marine facilities to potential yachting tourists," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Skeggs said a huge number of super yachts booking this year was coming from Europe with expectations of high visitor numbers.
"It will be exciting despite the fact that cyclone Evans affected some of our ambition but we will bounce back and drive in full force," he said. Mr Skeggs said the marina was gradually recovering after the devastation caused by TC Evan last year.
"Fiji bounces back very quickly after the cyclone and it is important for the tourism industry to keep pushing the message out and to drive the tourist numbers here and help them to understand that we are back up in running and business up as usual," he said.
Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.
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