by Jeni Bone
Following a resoundingly successful ASMEX conference held at Sanctuary Cove in May, AIMEX and Superyacht Australia are building on the achievements of that event towards international presence at industry forums and shows.
SCIBS 2012 - Mayor Tom Tate & international delegates
MaryAnne Edwards, CEO of the organisation points out 'It’s significant that AIMEX and Superyacht Australia are able to support and promote the broader marine and manufacturing industries as one'.
As a result of ASMEX, and the fact that the superyacht sector is high on the Tourism radar, MaryAnne has been invited to attend the invitation-only Destination Q forum to be held in Cairns at the end of June where she intends to highlight the key issues facing the sector.
'Members of both groups will benefit from information since we have greater lobbying clout and more resources,' she adds.
According to MaryAnne, the marine industry has been off the radar of Tourism bodies for a period. 'We have the assurances that it’s now back on the radar.'
'We have been told by tourism heads and Ministers that the marine industry is a significant part of the Queensland economy and will be given attention it deserves. The government is looking at their vision for tourism in Queensland, aiming to double revenue by 2020. If you consider that Australia currently attracts 1% of global superyacht tourism, and yet the Great Barrier Reef and other destinations consistently rate among the top destinations for superyacht owners and charters, there is significant potential there.
'We know why we are not attracting greater numbers, and we aim to address those issues with the support of government.'
One of the major barriers to superyacht tourism is the legislation applied to vessels 35m and above. 'The 35m rule in certain areas deters superyachts. They are treated as passenger ships rather than privately owned yachts with only a handful of passengers. They are built to the highest standards and it’s proven they are low impact in terms of environmental concerns.'
Another key initiative driven by AIMEX with the support of the Gold Coast City Council was bringing in a number of international buyers to attend the ASMEX conference and Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.
'The industry was extremely grateful for the foresight and support of the Gold Coast City Council. Some important deals have already been done and there will be more stemming from that event.'
The rest of 2012 and moving in to 2013 is scheduled with trade events around the world, the ideal vehicle for the promotion of AIMEX and Superyacht Australia members and their products.
At the Sydney International Boat Show, this year’s winners of the 2012 Australian Marine Export and Superyacht Awards will be announced at the annual Awards evening, 2 August.
Next on the calendar is the 2012 Monaco Yacht Show, 19-22 September.
Australian Pavilion at Monaco Yacht Show 2011 using Australia Unlimited2
'While space on our stand is already sold, we still have availability for what we call ‘walkers packages’. If companies want to attend and have their branding on the AIMEX/Superyacht Australia stand, they are able to use our stand as a base. Getting your brand known in global markets is essential to drive exports and trade shows are a key ingredient in the marketing mix.
'In these challenging times, if a company doesn’t want to invest a huge amount of money in appearing at a show, but still wants a presence in these key markets, AIMEX/Superyacht Australia can assist members.'
For Fort Lauderdale, the organisation offers the same opportunity for members.
For METS in Amsterdam in November , MaryAnne recommends companies get their bookings in early. 'Space sells out very quickly, as companies rebook based on success from the previous year. AIMEX hosts a significant networking event at the show which allows all exhibitors to meet key industry stakeholders and potential distributors or business partners.'
In 2013, first up on the calendar is the Dubai International Boat Show in March, followed by Shanghai in April. Other events are yet to be confirmed.
'It’s not automatic that we attend every event on the calendar,' MaryAnne explains. 'They are chosen based on who the show attracts in terms of visitors, as well as member demand for a presence in those markets and the potential for best results for our members.'
More at www.aimex.asn.au