Singapore is becoming a regional hub for boating enthusiasts, offering opportunities to industry players who build, broker and service yachts.
With more yachts calling in Singapore, experts said there are spin-offs for the economy as a whole.
However, rising yacht ownership is putting pressure on the tight supply of berthing space at some local marinas.
The number of yachts calling at Singapore’s shores has been growing steadily, rising at an average annual rate of about 9 per cent over the last five years.
1,175 yachts arrived in 2013, around 80 of which were mega-yachts.
Industry observers said the local economy stands to gain from being right at the centre of an increasingly affluent Southeast Asia.
John Mallen, project manager at Prometheus Marine, said: “Typically, the yacht will arrive, the owner will fly in, spend some time on his boat, spend some time in Singapore, shopping, maybe the casinos, then perhaps go on his way, or charter the boat.
“Then the crew of the boat gets down to the business of maintaining it. Again, this is revenue that flows into the shipyards and companies that do boat maintenance work around Singapore.”
Locally, yacht ownership in Singapore has also been on the rise, owing to optimism over the economic outlook and the increasing number of high net worth individuals.
Global wealth consultancy WealthInsight forecasts that the number of millionaires in Singapore will grow at a rate of 59 per cent between 2012 and 2017.
Already, there is mounting pressure on the tight supply of berths at some local marinas – a sign that the yachting lifestyle has caught on in Singapore.
Gordon Tan, gynaecologist at Gleneagles Medical Centre, said: “It certainly is more difficult to get a spot (at a marina) because there’s an increase in number of people taking to this leisure activity. I’ve noticed to my great dismay, significant increase in berthing charges over the last few years – 20 per cent for the last 3-4 years.”
As Singapore continues to maintain its appeal to the region’s wealthy, there have been more events and trade shows related to yachting.
Andy Treadwell, managing director at Singapore Yacht Events, said: “There’s a lot of wealth in the whole region, not just Singapore, and we’re getting people to come in from all over the region to try yachting.
“We’re focused on Asia because there is so much potential, promoting Asia as a cruising region to people in the West and Mediterranean to come here for winter instead of the Carribean.”
The Singapore Yacht Show, coming up in April, is boasting 50 per cent more on-water display space than the year before.
Visitors can expect over 100 vessels present at the show, including boats, yachts and super-yachts.
Source : Channel News Asia | March 18, 2014