ASMEX Conference closes on a high note

The 2016 Australian Superyacht & Marine Export Conference has drawn to a close today, after a full two days which have shown a healthy industry, determinedly driving forward. 

The 2016 Australian Superyacht & Marine Export Conference (ASMEX) has closed with the full programme giving delegates a comprehensive picture of the Australian industry.

The conference, organised by the Australian Marine Export Group, has once again been well attended, with a mix of international and local delegates. One of the highlights of the closing day of the conference was Fraser Yachts’ Roberto Giorgi speaking candidly on his perception of the region as a cruising destination. He pointed to the unique experiences the Asia-Pacific region holds and exhorted conference attendees not to discount the importance of prospective buyers chartering yachts, to the new build sales funnel.

Eduardo Read of the Dominican Republic’s Read Maritime Group discussed his market’s perception of Australian-built boats. The Riviera distributor relayed that he was very proud to represent Australian brands, with his customers reporting trust and confidence in Australian products. Read also believes the quality of Australian exports has improved over the last three years.

From the New Zealand Marine Industry Association, Peter Busfield spoke to the steady gains being seen across the Tasman, particularly in the powerboat market. Another area of strength highlighted was the refit market, which led Busfield to his next point. “New Zealand is just one of the jewels in the crown of this region,” said Busfield, pointing to the importance of attracting yachts for refit and cruising to the region as a whole.

Next on the programme was Simon Banks of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.  Banks educated delegates on plans of management to both protect the biodiversity of the region, and protect the experiences available to visitors. Banks was joined onstage by a panel of Australian charter and destination experts formed of Luke McCaul, Abell Point Marina, Cameron Bray of Northrop & Johnson Australia, Matt Templeton of the Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef and Jo Howard of Ocean Alliance.

The panel spoke at length on the positive elements cruising within Australia, including sustainable accredited marinas, safety, existing infrastructure, tourism attractions, straightforward processes, privacy and an extremely welcoming culture.

“Charter in Australia is at a tipping point,” said Cameron Bray. “We need to encourage captains to use an agent to secure the best experience possible, so that those captains go back to their networks and discuss Australian cruising in the most positive terms possible.

It was an experience of another kind which wrapped up the conference. The ASMEX team had organised a surprise for delegates with a corporate imposter who had the audience in stitches before getting them up for an impromptu Zorba the Greek dance which MC Martin Redmayne promptly filmed.

Redmayne then delivered the closing address highlighting the points which stood out as important to the industry throughout the conference – forward momentum, collaboration and highlighting experiences.

As the conference closes, the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show is set to begin, with many delegates going on to exhibit with their business at the show on Australia’s Gold Coast.

EDITOR’S NOTE

ASMEX 2016 is staged just before the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and incorporates the Australian Marine Industry Export and Superyacht Awards. The conference of the Australian marine and superyacht industry runs from 19-22 May.
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