New Zealand Customs Minister Nicky Wagner says mid-winter marks the end of another successful yacht season, with many of the remaining international yachts departing at the end of last month.
"57 superyachts visited between April 2014 and March 2015 , compared with 37 during the previous season. This is the highest number of superyacht visits since we hosted the America
's Cup in 2000," Ms Wagner said.
"Each visit contributes significantly to our economy through tourism, hospitality, berthage and marine services."
Overall, customs has cleared 620 arriving yachts since last spring. Marine Industry Executive Director Peter Busfield says the tourism and marine industry spend is huge.
"It varies from yacht to yacht, but on average we believe that a visiting super yacht will provide $4 million on expenditure in New Zealand," he said.
Changes made to the customs regime included making it easier for owners to charter their yacht or carry out maintenance work.
“A number of Customs changes have made it easier for overseas yachts to visit New Zealand. In 2013, Customs doubled the temporary entry period for yachts to 24 months, and streamlined entry processes and document requirements. Last year, Customs revised its treatment of duty and charges for yachts, making it easier for owners to charter their yacht or perform maintenance work while in New Zealand," she said.
“I’m pleased that Customs’ work with the marine industry is attracting yachts to our shores and helping to promote New Zealand to the world,” Ms Wagner says.