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Wednesday,  May 22, 2024 4:17 AM 

Global Yacht Registry to set sail this fall

Global Yacht Registry to set sail this fall
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

Travel agents with clients looking for a luxury yachting escape will soon have a new resource to book with, as the Global Yacht Registry launches later this fall.

Described by founder James Barnard as a distribution platform connecting yacht owners with travellers via travel agents, the Registry is on course to launch in September with several hundred vessels assessed by Global Vessel Assessment Program, which aims to standardize yacht vacation offerings in a one-stop shop. Barnard said that yachts from around the world will be available at launch, sailing everywhere from the Mediterranean and the Caribbean to Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain, where Barnard sails.

According to Barnard, travel agents are the ideal bridge between yacht owners and consumers, who usually find such packages online and book via broker or charter. Agents can expect commissions of between eight and 12 per cent on yacht bookings made through the Registry, Barnard said.

“There’s so many sites that offer yachts but there’s no standard out there – you have to shop from site to site and get in touch with a broker or charter company,” Barnard told PAX. “But we’re working with these people because none of them are connected to the travel industry and this is the niche that we’re building on.

James Barnard

“The travel agent community guides so many travellers into vacations and agents are the perfect way to guide consumers into these products; this will increase exposure of yachting to a whole new market.”

Barnard said that the majority of the product on offer will be in the four- to five-star range, with all-inclusive packages covering cabin and food (terms will vary between vessels). With most vessels consisting of between two and five cabins, Barnard said the Registry also offers seasoned large-vessel cruise travellers a different type of cruise experience.

In addition to travel agents, the Registry has also garnered interest from Canadian tour operators who are seeing increasing numbers of travellers inquiring about yacht product. Barnard said that while the yachting market is large in the U.S. and Europe, Canada is still a growing market.

“They’ve been saying ‘we’re getting asked for the products but we don’t have any,’” he explained. “They (tour operators) need distribution for these products.”

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