The Mediterranean remains the charter hotspot, but far-flung destinations growing in popularity
Online charter booking platform provider, YOTHA, has reported a successful year in 2019 as European waters remaining the top spots for charterers. A total of 62 weeks were booked aboard the YOTHA’s charter fleet in 2019 and the forecast looks to be as fruitful this year. The market appears to be family orientated with over three quarters of bookings compared to just 13% corporate bookings. YOTHA put this down to a significant proportion of their clientele being CEO level and requiring respite from their hectic corporate day-to-day.
In 2019 the Mediterranean was the most sought-after charter destination with 76% of charterers choosing to voyage along its shores. Within the Med the most popular destination was Greece, accounting for 23% of Mediterranean bookings. YOTHA said, “This is not surprising since The Cyclades and The Ionian Islands offer a perfect mix of idyllic, off-the-radar anchorages and cosmopolitan nightlife, putting islands such as Mykonos on the global map.”
Coming in a relatively close second was the French Riviera which amounted to 17% of bookings. YOTHA remarked: “Its ultra-chic beach towns and hilltop villages are breathtakingly beautiful while special events such as the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix attract the international yacht jet set.”
Taking the third spot with 11% of bookings was the Amalfi Coast, “With Positano, Sorrento and Ravello offering old-world Italian glamour and photo-worthy backdrops best viewed from the deck of a superyacht.”
Traditional charter destinations remained undeniably strong. However, there are emerging markets off the beaten track. Charters in Southeast Asia have risen 170% with six times more requests than in 2018. According to YOTHA charterers are discovering the appeal of the uninhabited islands and beaches prominent throughout Thailand and Indonesia. “The perfect remedy for busy CEOs and their families seeking total escape.”
Since the platform’s inception in 2016 over 230 superyachts have signed up – with 114 superyachts joining in both 2018 and 2019 and a growing fleet in the Caribbean predicted for 2020. Yachts in the 35 to 45metre range are still proving the most popular charter request and represent 32% of bookings, with yachts over 45 metres accounting for 28% and yachts in the 25 metre to 34 metre range comprising 26%. In terms of motor yachts versus sailing yachts, the former wins by far with double the amount of bookings compared to sailing yachts.
In general, boats that have been recently refitted, especially those with amenities such as swimming pools, cinemas and water toys are very popular, according to YOTHA. More than ever before, there is a demand for “toy boxes”, which now include a whole range of extras from hoverboards to submersibles.
YOTHA concluded: “Indeed, the internet is exposing a whole new audience to the yachting experience and YOTHA is now curious to see how this will evolve.”