A new digital platform brings together owners, charterers and professionals to create transparency to the world of superyachts, writes Arun Kakar
Offering the experience of the elite lifestyle without the commitment of ownership, superyacht chartering is a popular option for HNWs and prospective owners looking to take their holidays to the seas with style. Now a new digital platform is looking to streamline the booking process by connecting owners, charterers and industry professionals in one place.
Founded in 2016, and launched in May last year, YOTHA aims to simplify the chartering process with added transparency and clarity. Customers are able to negotiate directly with the owner’s representatives, book trips online, and use a free concierge service to create a full itinerary.
YOTHA founder and owner Phillpe Bacou said: ‘YOTHA now opens the way for the digital transformation of the luxury yachting industry.’
‘Our ambition is that our innovative new solution for chartering will improve the customer experience, offer new services and help attract new customers to luxury yachting.’
The firm, comprised of a team of technology experts and yachting professionals, aims to target the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asian markets by encouraging more owners to charter because of the greater flexibility provided by the platform. YOTHA offers shorter charters and an increased availability of off-season deals and already has 114 luxury yachts available on the platform. Its catalogue includes some of the world’s most famous vessels, such as the 90-metre Lauren L, the 55-metre Mustique and the award-winning 50- metre Vertige.
Bacou, who has 15 years of experience as a yacht owner and charterer, intends for the platform to be the equivalent of Booking.com for the yachting industry, geared towards a new generation of luxury yachters.
He added: ‘we hope to increase the size of the market both in charter volume and services through in-depth industry co-operation.
‘It is an exciting time to be involved in the yacht charter industry and we hope to improve the experience for everyone involved in the industry: charterers, brokers, agents, captains, crews and owners’
The commission for direct bookings is set at 8 per cent – much lower than the standard industry rate of 15 per cent (plus an additional 56 per cent to the central agent involved in the process). It also promises a ‘simple, fair electronic charter’ that balances the interests of all parties involved in transactions, and is secured under the supervision of Swiss banking regulator FINMA.
Image credit: pixabay/josepmonter
Arun Kakar writes for Spear’s