The superyacht industry is a relatively young industry. When looking at the fleet of yachts over 40 metres in length, two-third of this fleet has only been built in the last fifteen years. Within these fifteen years, the industry rapidly became more mature and professional. And since superyachts are mature ocean crossing vessels, they have to comply with the professional rules and regulations for the global maritime sector. The regulatory body that develops these rules and regulations is the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London, a specialized agency of the United Nations, setting standards for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. It’s important that IMO takes into account the unique aspects of superyachts when developing regulations.
In the IMO arena, size does matter; the larger the industry the more attention it can attract. However, also drivers of innovation and pro-active attitude stand out and are appreciated. The latter two characteristics helped us a great deal to get where we are now. But the size of our industry remained unknown, until now.
SYBAss has finalized an economic impact study, which it conducted with the specialised department of Spatial Economics at the VU University of Amsterdam. The global economic impact of the superyacht industry was determined at € 11.9 billion per year. These are the total yearly costs that are made for the present fleet (up to the year 2015). These costs can be seen as the monetary contribution of the superyacht sector to the economy as a whole. Is this fully inclusive? No, this number is conservatively low. The reason is that the impact of superyachts on local economies where they go requires a totally different approach to measure the economic impact.
How did the € 11.9 billion come about? The study looked at three segments:
- New construction, valued at 4.3 billion
- Operational, valued at 4.6 billion
- Maintenance: & refit, valued at 3 billion
Another measure of impact is the economic factor to a gross ton of a ship. SYBAss conducted a study with the Delft University of Technology in 2010 to develop an economic factor for superyachts. This showed that the total gross tonnage built by the global superyacht industry is not that impressive compared to other maritime sectors. However, adding an economic factor to this gross tonnage and the superyacht industry significantly moved up the ranks. The data collected for the above mentioned economic impact study also allowed to reconfirm the outcomes of the compensated gross tonnage study.
SYBAss would like to express its gratitude to the companies inside and outside its membership for providing vital data that made this study possible.