Students from the Florida Business School are conducting research alongside global charter firm Navigare Yachting

Research from a group of Florida Business School students predicts a yachting industry worth US$25.5bn dollars by 2027, and that millennials may be a better consumer base than conventional wisdom would indicate due to the growing yacht charter market.

University of South Florida St Petersburg College of Business professor Stephen Diasio created a program where teams of students in his Strategic Management/Decision Making class partner with a different local business each semester.

Currently, Diasio’s students are working with the local office of global chartering firm Navigare Yachting.

Founded in 2001 in Sweden, Navigare claims a fleet of 300 yachts worldwide with over 250,000 customers and its own facilities in nine countries, according to its website.

The recently-opened St Petersburg office will receive presentations from 38 students divided into eight teams, each conducting their own research on the target market, the company, operational best practices and competitors.

“The perception may be that yachts are reserved for extraordinarily wealthy baby boomers,” professor Diasio told, “but as the baby-boom generation dwindles, the class’ student-driven research aims to help Navigare find a way to market to the millennial generation.”

The collective research shows travel 35 days per year – more than any other generation. With an average annual holiday travel budget of US$4,500, the students conclude that some yacht charters might be within reach for small groups of friends.

The challenge for companies like Navigare – and by extension, the students charged with providing research-based ideas – is to make yacht chartering attractive enough for millennial consumers to spend their budget on a single trip.

The class will continue to do additional research before making formal presentations on their findings to Navigare.