We like to keep on top of the industry trends here at Superyacht Content and it seems one of our predictions has played out very well this year. Whilst we can’t take full credit for this prediction, we talk to the team at the UK’s best Superyacht agent MGMT on a regular basis. This time last year, their Founder and Managing Director Mark Upton confidently told us that there was about to be a “UK Superyacht boom” – and it looks like he was spot on!

Mark has over 27 years’ experience of the industry. With a background before yachting in marketing, you can be sure he has done his research. Well, how right he was, so here we are revisiting the subject this year to see which parts of the prediction came true.

Dartmouth was a popular location for visiting Superyachts this summer

The UK Superyacht Boom

I Told You So!

“We monitor trends in the industry closely to work out where and when yachts will visit,” says Mark. “The UK first showed signs of popularity in 2012 as a result of the Olympics. So, judging by past trends and by promoting ourselves and the UK as a destination, we have seen the UK follow the industry trend. This means that after 10 years of initial recognition of a destination, it starts to become popular. This is exactly what has happened with the UK. Brexit has helped us too as yachts leaving Northern European yards can now visit the UK for VAT clearance.”

The Surge

MGMT knows well how the industry works. Following a number of yachts “testing the waters” over the last few years things started to grow. A few higher-profile yachts decided not to go to the Med for the full Summer. Instead, they visited the UK for a pre-med season visit or even a post-med season/pre-yard stop. Safe to say they LOVED it.

“Most yachts don’t really know what to expect when they come to the UK the first time,” says Mark. “They assume that it isn’t a Superyacht destination, and therefore nobody really knows what they are doing when it comes to service and guest support.

“This may have been correct at the end of the 2010s but not anymore. Made up almost entirely of the ex-yacht crew, our team at MGMT excels at planning, itinerary creation management and of course interactive personal service. We are confident our service is better than any other agent in the Yachting industry.”

“Once yachts arrive in the UK they quickly realise that MGMT, as full-service yacht agents know exactly what they are doing and how to ensure the perfect guest and owner experience. As a result, every visitor leaves happy resulting in more yacht visits each year. Captains talk to other captains, owners tell their friends and the surge of popularity continues.”

What Next For The UK?

Well, the UK superyacht boom looks set to continue for a good few years to come. Mark tells us this is just the beginning and advance bookings (which are rare in yachting) are already being made for summer 2024.

“This year has seen a few very large (120m+) yachts visit the UK for the first time and, of course, we took care of them properly. Yachts this size having a positive experience in a still relatively unknown cruising area is extremely positive, not just for us as a business but for the UK as a whole. It gives the rest of the industry confidence to follow where others have been and, as a result, we expect 2024 to be busier still.”

The UK As A Destination

MGMT works very closely with ports, marinas, businesses, and suppliers in the UK in a bid to promote the destination to the Superyacht industry.

“It is extremely important to us that local businesses, services and suppliers benefit from Superyacht visits. After all, the local economies must see the advantages of Superyacht visits. As a result, we work very hard to ensure we use local people everywhere the yachts we look after visit.” says Mark. “Our team works very hard building and maintaining relationships with companies all over the UK and Ireland to ensure we can support each yacht visit with local produce and service. This makes a huge difference to each Superyacht as they are being looked after by enthusiastic local people who directly benefit from the visit.”

“The future for us is to promote the UK as a destination, the ports, people, businesses, experiences and culture. Our itineraries, unique experiences and opportunities will get better and better. Plus the marinas and their services will increase in numbers and improve with our input each year.”

Diversity Of The UK

“The diversity of what the UK offers Superyachts is what makes it attractive. We have everything from stunning anchorages and sandy beaches to world-class diving, history, architecture, and sport. Plus, the world’s best restaurants, hotels and shops,” says Mark.

Well, I have to say we are sold on it, and it looks like more and more of the world’s Superyachts are too.

Thinking of taking your yacht to the UK? Please contact MGMT for assistance or to discuss your options. 

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