Destination marinas as tourism attractions in Asia?

Destination marinas as tourism attractions in Asia?

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Keppel Marina Superyacht
Archimedes and White Rabbit in the shadow of Reflections at Keppel Bay, Singapore.

Many marinas in Asia are located as a planning after thought. Tucked away, inaccessible to the general public and even found in industrial areas. Functional, yes. Value adding to a destination, certainly not. Where are the destination marinas in Asia? Should marinas begin to be treated like tourism assets? While Keppel Marina (above) and Sentosa’s Marina One Degree Fifteen are a move in the right direction, developed as part of residential environments, they still fall short of being ‘destination’ level attractions.

Is there an opportunity for a major destination to up its branding and image and at the same time address a marine tourism need?

Linda Cartlidge writing for BYM News:

“Unlike Europe, marinas in Asia are more about safe berthing for your vessel as opposed to a destination in its own right”, reports Captain Nick Coombes, head of Asia Pacific Superyachts Malaysia based on Langkawi Island.

“Very few marinas are located in popular tourist areas in Asia Pacific regions- thus the idea of sitting on your yacht and watching the world watch you, is not an option. As a result most Superyacht visitors and charters here never see a marina, but instead spend their entire journey cruising from beautiful anchorage to beautiful anchorage”, says Captain Nick; “It is a lot more about exploring the natural splendor of South East Asia, than cruising from town to town.”

Monaco Harbour
Monaco Harbour

If you are interested in marinas in Asia Pacific – there are more options now, reflecting the rising affluence of Asia. “There are now world-class marinas and accommodation in nearly every sailing region”, notes Captain Nick: “There’s Phuket, providing hundreds of berths for everything from Superyachts to small cruisers. To the south Malaysia’s Langkawi Island is a popular winter destination as are the chain of facilities that run down the Malacca Straits to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and heading east into the vast Gulf of Thailand. And, coming on board with APS in 2013, is New Zealand, which can boast of excellent marinas and anchorage options in the Pacific region.

There’s no doubt Superyachts are being challenged in finding places to stay as the world’s fleet of Superyachts has ballooned in the past five years by 25 percent, to around 4,600, according to Marina Projects, a U.K. consultancy firm as excerpted from an article by Jason Chow in the Wall Street Journal Asia: “Owners of the world’s Superyachts are running into a new problem as they set sail across the crowded seas: finding a place to park. In the Mediterranean, which is where most of the yachts are located, there are an estimated 3,000 superyacht berths. Shortages in some countries mean opportunity for other aspiring yachting centers. But will boat owners want to broaden their horizons?”

Read BYM News for full story.

Monaco Image: Dale Napier

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