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Millennials Love Luxury, They Just Don’t Want To Pay For It

Yacht

Millennials are all about mobility—and this is the generation that’s reshaping our ability to get from point A to point B in style, even if we’re short on cash. Millennials have made ride-sharing more than just a ‘thing’, and now, wheels aren’t enough: Millennials want access to a higher class of mobility, too: How about yacht-sharing?

From the millennial perspective, all the perks that come from being a billionaire should be attainable without billions, but simply owning a yacht is … dull. Now this generation is driving demand for yacht rentals via social media for an affordable taste of luxury.

You can own a yacht for $2 million, or you can go for the one-off or occasional experience for around $3,000—and yacht renting companies have latched on to the millennial psychology and are sweeping efforts to market on social media.

Speaking to Skift.com, Jorge Cabre, supply marketing manager for boat-sharing platform Boatsetter, said social media “has become a ‘game-changer’ helping to spread the glamorous yacht life to a wider audience than ever before, especially to millennials, who generally choose to live the experience for $3,000 rather than owning the vessel for $2 million”.

Millennials actually view yacht ownership as a restriction—or a limitation on life. For millennials, it’s about experience, adventure and socializing, not the status of material possession.

Owning a yacht means you’re limited to that yacht—and that experience. When you drop $2 million on a vessel, you’ll want to use it often and that means less time for other experiences. It’s the same idea as buying a beach house in Martha’s Vineyard: As long as you have it, that’s where you’re destined to vacation. It’s a shackle that is unattractive to millennials. 

That’s not to say that yacht ownership has gone out of fashion, or that younger generations don’t buy. In fact, a joint study by the International University of Monaco and the Rossinavi shipyard shows that yacht owners are getting younger and younger, with 20 percent of the top 100 billionaires now under the age of 50, and yacht owners specifically about 10-15 years younger than two decades ago.    Related: IMF Warms Of Potential Economic Meltdown

But they’re not exactly millennials. The younger yacht owners today are around 35-45, while the millennial generation is typically defined as those born between 1981 and 1996.

Millennials are “more adventurous”, CNN quoted Johan Pizzardini, communications and media manager for the Monaco Yacht Show, as saying. "New millennials say 'I want to charter a boat this week and next week I'd like to be somewhere else in the world so I'll have another boat."

Although the new wave of superyacht users prefer to charter rather than to own, some voices in the yachting market still believe that Millennials will not entirely ditch the idea of ownership—even if they do change the rules of the luxury game.  

According to the University of Monaco study, millennials are forcing the yacht business to re-package things.

“They want their own product like the rest of us. Things change, but human nature stays the same,” opines the Monaco Yacht Show Press Kit.

If they want to actually target millennials as yacht owners rather than just renters, yacht sellers will have to have an eye for what millennials demand. That includes higher safety standards and an all-encompassing relaxation set-up, including a spa, gym and plenty of open-air space for socializing.

Related: Markets Open Slightly Lower Ahead Of Monthly Job Data

Millennials don’t want to take work with them on the water.

"It used to be satellite domes and offices so they could keep working and now we get the request more and more 'I don't want to work on my boat, I'm off for two weeks' so that's probably the ultimate luxury for these people," Andreas Iseli, head of Winch Design yacht exteriors, told CNN.

Again, it’s about the experience, and even if millennials don’t end up buying as many yachts as their predecessors, the yacht business can thrive through luxury charters if they play they listen to the intricacies of changing demand.  

By Tom Kool for Safehaven.com

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