After the best part of ten years as CEO / Executive Director of Australia’s peak industry body for the Australian superyacht industry, Lance Cushion has announced his resignation and will stand down from the Board of Super Yacht Base Australia Limited (SYBA) at the end of this month.
Cushion, one of the Foundation Directors of SYBA, which was established in 1999, has overseen the development of the superyacht industry which is now estimated at delivering an economic impact of approximately half a billion dollars per annum for the Australian economy.
“Over the past ten years Australia has positioned itself on the radar of ‘must visit’ places for superyacht owners. The growth in both the refit and service & maintenance work, and this high-end tourist segment is substantial, but what is exciting is there is still an enormous superyacht market to attract to Australia” said Cushion.
“Superyacht numbers in the world have grown on average 10% per annum for the past ten years. The average size of a custom designed and built yacht has grown from 45 metres to 65 metres. These larger yachts are traversing the globe and already Australia has been visited by some of the biggest superyachts in the world including Octopus 413'4" (126 m), Athena 295.3 ft (90 m) and Maltese Falcon 289.1 ft (88 m)” Cushion stated.
The visitation of foreign-flagged yachts has grown from an average of four (4) per annum prior to the advent of SYBA to fifty (50) in 2005, sixty (60) in both 2006 and 2007, and in 2008 a record 73 yachts visited Australia.
Under Cushion’s stewardship, SYBA has developed a network of regional superyacht clusters around Australia representing over 300 members who provide services and products to both visiting and local superyachts. His dedication and his vast achievements in the superyacht industry were recognised by his peers in 2006 when Cushion was awarded the ‘Australian Superyacht Industry Person of the Year’.
During his tenure, Cushion lobbied with the operators of superyacht transporter company Dockwise Yacht Transport to provide a service to Australia. The South Pacific schedule commenced in 2003 and this has been integral in the development of yacht visitation to Australia. The superyacht visitation not only produces a substantial economic impact, it also creates jobs in both the Marine service sector and Tourism.
For the past two years Lance Cushion has also been President of the International Superyacht Society, the global industry body with its head office in Fort Lauderdale Florida. Cushion was the first Australian to be elected to the Presidency, and he has indicated he would continue in this role at least in the short term.
He has served on the Federal Government’s Marine Industry Action Agenda Committee, the Marine Industry Action Agenda Implementation Committee, and is currently on the Marine Industry Working Group Committee. Lance Cushion is a regular Presenter / Guest Speaker / Facilitator at numerous Marine related conferences & workshops as well as special events, and in his spare time he concepts, produces and directs entertainment-related events.
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