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2020 November December Marina World

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The magazine from the marina industry

INDUSTRY NETWORKING New

INDUSTRY NETWORKING New sustainable solutions, such as ‘living breakwaters’ and 3D designs, offer environmental advantages. Images: ECONcrete two of the “winners” which, having successfully managed the outbreak, saw a significant proportion of the charter and transient fleet in the Mediterranean choose to spend the season in their waters. By making people feel safe with additional measures, “they had a fantastic season,” Siches said. But other countries, such as France, Spain and Italy, fared less well. Italy designated marinas as restricted areas, and Spain and France soon followed this approach. Harbours and airports were closed to traffic, sailing was prohibited and tourism – especially nautical tourism – dropped dramatically. Philip Easthill, secretary general of the European Boating Industry (EBI), said France was expecting a revenue drop of between 15-30%, while nautical tourism in Italy operated at about 13% less compared to last year. In Germany, however, some players anticipate that this year’s revenue will exceed last year’s for boat sales and charter and, in Italy, “80% of companies view next year as a year of revenue growth,” he said. Marinas in the Middle East saw an extremely busy season, said Bruno Meier, director of Aldar Marinas, seeing an increase in boat use during the traditionally low summer season. Use of boats was generally not forbidden and marinas had plenty of traffic, mostly from local boat owners. COVID hit Asia early and had a prolonged effect, according to Lawrence Chow, chair of the Hong Kong Boating Industry Association. But, after an initial dip, strong boat sales Europe leads the way with initiatives to recycle end-of-life boats but more action is needed at a global level to tackle the problem. developed across the boating markets of Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and South Korea – and charters quickly bounced back as local boating grew. “Most marinas were able to operate as normal, but some regions are being affected again and again as new COVID waves hit.” Finally, Darren Vaux, president of the Boating Industry Association in Australia and New Zealand, reported a more disappointing picture for Australia, which saw a A million reduction in profit in July, with club marinas most affected. Of the 303 marinas in the country, 89% reported negative impacts and 70% predicted lower revenue for 2021. In New Zealand, by contrast, 76% of the BIA’s members said confidence in the industry had improved, with 59% reporting an increase in the use of marina facilities. Charter companies faced their own challenges, such as trip planning when “every country changed their regulations on a regular basis – every 15 days,” according to Rosemary Pavlatou, director of A1 and BWA Yachting. There were prohibitions in the US and Middle East, the backbone of the superyacht industry. Figuring out the constantly changing rules and working out how to get owners to their yachts were some of the early challenges. But, for those who could afford to fly on private jets, superyachts offered a “very secure environment.” Additionally, in cases where superyachts couldn’t sail, they stayed largely where they were in marinas or shipyards in the US or the Mediterranean. “A lot of marinas were very full and shipyards were busy doing maintenance on yachts during this period,” she added. Tomorrow’s technology, today A number of boating businesses are now expecting improved conditions over the next year and a higher turnover, Vaux said. But one of the most important lessons of the pandemic is that consumer behaviour, which was expected to change over the next ten years, is now changing today. “The marina industry urgently needs to embrace technology. All boaters have this in common: they are connected 24/7, usually through mobile phones,” said Pontus Fernstrom, EMEA marine segment director at Garmin Europe. “We need to remember that we’re www.marinaworld.com – November/December 2020 21

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