- Published on Saturday, 22 September 2012 17:26
- Written by Carlo Caraluzzo
22 August, 2012, London: The 2012 Olympics are now over, and as tourism leaves the city, London has noticed the absence of some of the most noticeable guests the summer Olympics took in: the super- yachts.
Reports indicate that London’s waters safeguarded 10 of the world’s best super-yachts that were visiting because of the sports event. Now, after the torch is out the city sees a new opportunity to improve their approach to a different side of tourism. The harbor manager for London Docklands claims: “The Olympics has opened people’s eyes to the fact that you can get super-yachts to London.” And indeed you can, but is the city prepared to meet the accommodations that these vessels require? While the location is not yet ideal for the privacy some owners demand, and most facilities do not have the infrastructure needed to bare yachts past a certain size; Ben Sutton from MGMT (yacht advisory company that provided concierge during the Olympics) believes there’s room for improvement “If super-yacht companies thought yachts were coming here long-term, then the infrastructure will come.”
Despite the city’s limitations the high demand during the Olympics made the stay far from cheap. Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen paid US$107,660 in weekly fees for his 126-meter Octopus, the price did not include electricity or water. Negotiating locks is also another experience owners might need to get ready for, Mr. Allen made it clear when he twetted: “Getting Octopus thru London locks a tight squeeze, 1 meter clearance” after having paid US$2,428 for the service.
The true concern for London lays in the question to whether yacht owners will continue to see London as an attractive destination. While the city is one of the world’s leading financial centers, and counts with good shopping centers and great nightlife, can it really compete against other more popular destinations such as Sardinia, St Tropez and Martinique? London seems to think so for there are plans to significantly improve the infrastructure and security related to yachts, although authorities have stated their system will change based on demands. This means it is entirely up to yacht owners and charters to make London a prime destination to visit.