The yachting industry invites itself to the Garonne

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While the South-East of France is known to be a tie of yachting culture, Bordeaux asserts itself and diversifies locally thanks to an exceptional natural asset: the Garonne. At a seminar in June, Bordeaux Superyachts Refit decided to bring together local players in the yachting industry. Bordeaux being a must-see tourist destination, this cluster wants to offer superyacht owners the renovation of their boats. Supported by a public-private partnership, companies are therefore banking on this maritime activity to boost the entire local economy stimulated by the rise of river tourism.

Yachts on the Garonne

The Bordeaux Superyachts Refit cluster is a network of companies specializing in ship renovation and maintenance. It brings together nearly 50 companies to meet all types of yacht repair needs. Bordeaux Superyachts Refit is also a network of state-of-the-art subcontracting companies and training and research centres specializing in the naval industry. It stems from an initiative of Aquitaine industrialists who wanted to see the development around the infrastructure of the Grand Port Maritime de Bordeaux, in the logic of the Naval Pole, an activity of refit and maintenance of large yachts and ship repair towards the river cruise activity on the Garonne. The seminar held in June allowed the speakers to share their experiences to take ownership of the codes of yachting and luxury, very specific to the boating industry. Indeed, the first obstacle to overcome to make Bordeaux an iconic place of yachting is that of referencing. Ensuring the presence of the first Yacht in Bordeaux is thus one of the objectives of the cluster through the action of local industrialists and companies. However, the launch of Bordeaux Superyachts Refit was not easy. Founded in 2012, Bordeaux Superyachts Refit struggles to recruit customers. Three years ago, a milestone was reached with the signing of an agreement between Bordeaux Métropole and Bordeaux Superyachts Refit. The purpose of the agreement was a financial contribution of around 25,000 euros made by the Metropole.

A local Bordeaux economy marked by a diversification of high value-added activities

The Yachting Market is a buoyant market. Historically rather confidential, it has grown considerably. Since 2017, the market has grown by 13%. It is therefore a sector that presents business opportunities that are quite exploitable for the Bordeaux region, which develops thanks to its vineyards and its know-how a real luxury in Bordeaux. This contribution is greatly facilitated by the rise of river tourism. Appearing in France in the 1970s, its development potential is significant: in 2017 it generated nearly 630 million euros in turnover on the national territory. To this end, the Jacques Maillot report dating back to 201 was intended to put in place an action plan to promote the development of cruise and river tourism. Bordeaux was thus identified as the strategic port for the Atlantic façade to develop these activities. In Bordeaux-Bacalan, Bordeaux Port-Atlantique has been a naval hub in the Afloat Basins since 2015. Originally, the fleet of ships coming back to Bordeaux was made up of river liners. The aim is now to move towards activities with higher added value, especially since the great pleasure boating sector is the most dynamic sector of activity of the façade: on the Charentais coast and in particular La Rochelle, the Arcachon Basin and the Bordeaux region.

At the moment, the market for large pleasure boating has its place on the Atlantic coast. For Bordeaux Superyachts Refit, the next step in the enhancement of Bordeaux know-how is to attend one of the largest trade shows specialising in the specific sector of Superyachts, the Monaco Yachts which will take place in September. A real opportunity for local companies to network and promote the Bordeaux outsider among the biggest social superyachting. The recapture of the river area in Bordeaux in favour of stratification of activities towards the need is just beginning.

Justine ANGIBAUD

Sources:

Site de Bordeaux Superfyachts Refit

Report on the development of sea and river cruises, Jean-Baptiste Cazaubon

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