The Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX) held its annual conference ASMEX 2022 last week for the superyacht, marine export and commercial marine industries in Sanctuary Cove, on the Gold Coast.
Jeremy Spear, President, AIMEX urged marine manufacturers and service providers to return to their international marketplaces with their products and be proud of their Australian made calling card.
“Foreign countries love us. Our quality, reputation, design, methodology, mindset, attitude, abilities, culture, value – so many reasons! Capitalise on that. Bite more – chew harder.” Spear declared in his opening speech to encourage more marine industry members to venture back overseas to meet with their customer bases.
Peter Munckton, Chief Economist, Bank of Queensland was back by popular demand again this year opening the conference with his high-level energy and vigour on stage. Taking delegates on a journey through the current geo-political focus, potential supply chain challenges and manufacturing, he emphasised that a greater focus on digitisation would boost productivity and make Australia more attractive for manufacturing.
Jason Hawkins, Managing Director, KND Digital inspired the audience with his presentation on ‘Creating experiences to unlock revenue.’ Drawing on companies’ websites in the marine industry, many of whom were in the room, Hawkins braved the audience by illustrating to delegates the easiest ways to capture and retain their online target market.
Next up was ‘The Exporters Panel’ with Christoph Becker, Group CEO, AYRES Composite Panels; Dan Fisher, Sales Manager Marine, VEEM Limited; Brad Marsden, Director, Marine Airflow International and Jeremy Spear, Spear Green Design on stage. All agreed exports had continued to increase over the last year and finding new markets and approaches – such as venturing into new international export shows and targeting designers and architects to understand the products more – has been key.
Martin Redmayne, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, The Superyacht Group Zoomed in from overseas to present on the ‘State of the Global Superyacht Industry’ and future trends presenting key data on the historic and predicted growth of the global fleet, calculated to be over 7,000 vessels by 2030 and underscoring the need for future planning.
David Good, CEO, AIMEX and Superyacht Australia presented an industry update for the Australian superyacht industry over the last three years on a national and state by state basis. Despite COVID limiting international vessel visitation, the yachts that did enter Australia were on average 5m larger and stayed longer for an average of 175 days.
‘Reconnecting Western Australia to the World’ panelist Christine Cole, Projects Manager, Destination Development, Tourism Western Australia was joined by Chris Blackwell, Sales & Marketing Manager, Echo Marine Group on stage to present the extraordinary depth of cruising experiences available for superyachts in the year-round destination of Western Australia.
David Good presented on the economic opportunities visiting superyachts can deliver in the lead up to and post the Brisbane Olympics in 2032 for Queensland, Australia and the Pacific region. Releasing the results of an independent economic study on the superyacht industry in Australia conducted by AEC Group, the report projects that by hosting the world’s most prominent event, the Summer Olympics, Australia will welcome at least 200 of the world’s largest superyachts generating $1.8 bn in economic value and 7,657 jobs. Current cost estimates for hosting the Olympics in 2032 are $5 bn, therefore the superyacht industry alone could provide more than a third of this investment back in return.
Kenta Inaba, Owner and President of Super Yacht Logistics visiting from Japan for the conference shared his insights and challenges for superyacht visitation in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and the postponement to 2021.
Assistant Minister Michael Healy MP, Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Member for Cairns who attended the conference said, “The Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics will be a huge opportunity for tourism not only in Queensland and Australia but for the entire Asia Pacific region.”
“It is expected Brisbane could have at least 200 superyachts looking to attend the 2032 Olympics who have been enticed out of their usual cruising ground of the Mediterranean and into our region. We should be expecting increased superyacht visitation overall in the months leading up to and after the event which will be an incredible boost for tourism given a superyachts’ average spend level.” he added.
Martin Jufors, Vice President, Marine Sales and Hanna Ljungqvist, Vice President, Service Market Marine from Volvo Penta presented on the future of propulsion technologies with mixed hybrid vessels looking to be the new technology for marine vessels.
Brett James, General Manager, Southport Yacht Club and John Hogan, CEO, Superior Group treated delegates to the background of the design philosophy and development of the new Mega-Yacht berth at Southport Yacht Club through work-in-progress images and a time lapse video with concluding key messages about the increase in the service levels required to host larger superyachts.
The final session of the day was the challenge of meeting the demand for skilled labour in the maritime industry and how best to attract young people and retain them within the industry both in Australia and overseas.
Suzanne Davies, CEO, Marina Industries Association spearheaded the discussion with a presentation on the industry’s new job search and career online platform, Marine Jobs and how to raise the profile of the industry as a career. Adam Chanter, Maritime, Employment, Skills & Training Officer, TAFE Queensland spoke about the current programs and plans addressing the future needs of young people and how to show them the benefits of being in the marine industry. Greg Newby, Director, Superyacht Crew Academy discussed the positive ability of Australia to meet the demand of the growing superyacht industry and to attract post gap year crew members.
Dan Fisher, Sales Manager Marine, VEEM Limited said “As a first-time attendee of the ASMEX Conference in 2022, I was really impressed with the breadth of attendance from key manufacturers, service providers and peak bodies. The industry is emerging from challenging times and the conference provided a great forum to learn from others’ experiences and hear of new initiatives across the sector.”
Katrina Matheson, Marketing / Survey Manager, Maritime Cook Islands said “The ASMEX Conference had a great line up of speakers, topics of discussion, and networking opportunities. I highly recommend anyone in the maritime industry to attend the ASMEX Conference for an insight into the Australian Superyacht Industry”.
AIMEX would like to thank all the speakers for their input and support for ASMEX 2022 and the following Conference Partners and Sponsors and acknowledges their generous support which ensured the success of this year’s event:
Major Partners: City of Gold Coast, Queensland Government, Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
Conference Partners: Pantaenius and Benetti
Conference Sponsors: City Index and Echo Yachts
Supporting Sponsors: Boat Styles, Tyrrell’s Wine, Quality Marine Clothing, Aqualuma LED Lighting, The Boat Works, Last Man Standing and Pyrotek5
Award Presenting partners: Rivergate Marina & Shipyard, Sydney City Marine, The Whiskey Project, BOQ Business, TAFE Queensland, Volvo Penta