Port Denarau Marina is expecting an even busier season this year.
Port Denarau Marina General Manager, Cynthia Rasch said they are optimistic about seeing more than 700 transient vessels visiting Fiji Waters in 2018.
“The 2017 yachting season was a record year with 65 superyachts visiting the country. This shows strong growth from 2016 following Cyclone Winston,” she said.
Fiji also saw 554 vessels under 80ft, which she said was a 14 per cent increase in numbers compared to 2016.
Rasch highlighted that Government’s recognition of the superyacht industry was demonstrated in the 2017 budget with a reduction of the Superyacht Charter Tax from 12.5 per cent to 10 per cent.
“This is no longer called a superyacht tax. Superyachts are now charged an Environment & Climate Adaption Levy of 10 per cent. This is levied on the stated gross charter fee as disclosed on the charter contract,” she said.
The Environment & Climate Adaption Levy (ECAL) is a transparent fund set up by the government of Fiji to engage in projects that counter the effects of climate change in Fiji. it is hoped that this will improve the acceptability of the levy knowing that the funds are going to a good cause.
She said 2017 yachting season also saw a total of 11 weeks of charter sold to visiting superyacht in Fiji in 2017.
Rasch said Fiji has experienced strong growth in 2017 in the marina industry.
Our commercial operations saw 445,000 visitors through our terminal building in 2017, an increase of 10% in comparison to 2016 and we are expecting these numbers to rise in 2018,” Rasch said.
“Looking ahead, we are planning for a bigger and better Monaco Boat Show later in the year and inclusion of new and exciting water sporting events to our shores,” Rasch said.
She adds there are additional shore based projects planned for this year.
She said some of the challenges faced are the delays in approvals as they currently await Ministerial approvals on permits for dredging and expect to add another 5 x 70m private berths once completed.
It was a rewarding year for the Marina, receiving some major awards namely, the International Marina of the Year by Marina Industries Association (MIA), retaining the title for four consecutive years. They were winners of Community Support Initiative by a Marina in MIA Awards for their Sea Mercy project following Cyclone Winston and Finalist for Innovation by a Marina in MIA Awards.
The marina was recognized for their environmental initiatives and was awarded Level 3 Clean Marina and Fish Friendly Accreditation, the first marina in the South Pacific to be awarded this Environmental Accreditation.
Furthermore, Port Denarau Marina was a finalist in Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards for Service and Support to Industry. The announcement in the Fiji budget in June recognizing Port Denarau as Port of Entry was another key highlight in 2017 for this successful and premium international marina.
Another accomplishment for the Marina was the extension of its passenger terminal check-in facilities, which was completed in December last year.
Port Denarau Marina auspiciously continues to grow from strength to strength as it positions itself to building a world–class tourism and transportation system.