Updated: Jun 10, 2021
“LAST MARCH, YACHT dealers thought they were staring down the barrel of bankruptcy. But by July, they were the ones buying champagne and contemplating their greatest year ever,” says Richard Lofthouse. The Asia-Pacific regional coordinator at a superyacht agent company Catalano Shipping Services had witnessed firsthand how the expectations of dealers and brokers had swung from panic to delight in Hong Kong.
“No one could have foreseen that the pandemic was going to be a stimulus for people to buy boats. They’ve been buying yachts like hotcakes.”
Across Asia, yacht sales skyrocketed in the more mature markets, while local charters did roaring business. Indonesia is now one of the easiest parts of the region for yachts to enter – a statement that would have made seasoned mariners blanch before the pandemic. As other countries have tightened entry requirements for passengers and crew to curb the spread of COVID-19, the unchanged Indonesian visa process has, by default, been made more amenable. There is no need for arrivals to quarantine as long as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test producing negative results was taken within seven days of disembarkation.