The pandemic has left many Australians looking for alternatives to their annual overseas travel trip, sparking a growing trend in water-based domestic tourism.
Boat sharing platform Flotespace, is riding the crest of the wave, reporting 300% increase in requests for boat and yacht rentals over the summer season, with 70% of all boats booked out on a regular basis.
Transforming the waterways with its innovative online marketplace for boat and yacht rentals, the record demand over the summer period has seen the Sydney-based business report an impressive 675% growth in monthly revenue.
The incredible increase comes off the back of a strong end to 2020 for the company, which reported tracking towards $5.2 million in annual gross revenue as of December 2020, as boating goes gangbusters in the face of limited travel options.
What’s more, by enabling commercially surveyed boats and yachts to be listed on the platform, Flotespace has created a way for vessel owners to utilise their assets and generate an additional revenue stream.
A much welcome option for many charter boat owners during a time where the tourism industry has been especially quiet.
Incredibly, a number of owners have reported a rise in revenue by 80% in recent months since signing up to the platform. Several owners on the platform have multiple vessels listed.
What exactly is Flotespace doing?
Helping to bolster domestic tourism is just one way Flotespace is transforming the boating industry. The business is also developing sophisticated new booking system using cutting-edge technology that will enable users to see every available slot they can book a boat, in real-time.
The platform will be the first of its kind to adopt this technology in Australia – no other boating hire platform in Australia currently offers this feature.
The overhaul is being led by tech veteran Jeff Lewis (ex VP of Tech Engineering Strategy at TripAdvisor) who has come on board to help transform the platform’s technology, which he promises will bring boating “into the twenty-first century”.
Hugh Treseder, Founder and CEO of Flotespace, says, “Many Australians have decided to explore the waterways on their doorstep and are realising what incredible experiences are available to them locally.”
“People are hiring boats, yachts and superyachts because it’s a far more flexible and exciting option for group outings and events – and they still get to travel around in style. It is often also far better value.
“Being able to support domestic tourism and help Australian charter boat owners generate extra income is at the core of our business, and it’s been incredible to see such a huge growth in boat rentals over the past 12 months. Our aim is to enable people to experience the incredible life on the water. I recall celebrating our first booking, now we are releasing 6 figure weeks and exponential growth.”
Speaking of the business’ plans to reinvent the platform’s technology, Jeff Lewis, Non-Executive Director, Flotespace, says, “The online booking system was adopted by hotels in the 00s and tour operators and restaurants in the 10s, but it’s yet to reach the boating industry.”
“We are bringing boating into the modern age by developing Flotespace’s online platform, so that the availability of boats can be seen in real-time and can be booked there and then. It’s awesome; we have some very cool things in store. This will not only cut out the normal wait times involved with boat hire, but also enable owners to maximize the number of times their vessels can be booked.
“We’re confident this is going to flip the industry on its head and revolutionize the ease and speed in which people can enjoy boating.”