Happy New Year, but fasten your seat belts!

Andy Adams 2018 Edited 400

Jan 4, 2022

We hope that you and your families enjoyed a happy and safe holiday season, and that you had time to relax and consider what lies before us in 2022. Our industry will need to be creative and nimble as we navigate the turbulent waters ahead.

Our boat shows have long been a mainstay of the industry’s advertising and marketing outreach, but Omicron has now forced the cancellation, or reinvention to a virtual form, of the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver winter boat shows. Shows in Europe have also been cancelled. What are your marketing plans now? 

The Toronto and Vancouver International Boat Shows and the Salon du Bateau in Montreal have been primary opportunities to talk to our customers in person. We hope the Halifax show will at least go ahead as scheduled March 3 to 6. Perhaps we will see a breakthrough on Omicron in time for that.

I am encouraged to hear that while it’s very transmissible, Omicron seems to be a less dangerous COVID variant and the pharmaceutical industry will be working at full speed to come up with new medicines and treatments.

Widespread shutdowns however, have hit sports, restaurants, theatres and other events during the holidays and this may continue for a while. Unemployment for various reasons, will hurt the economy and yet we also see continuing labour shortages. Globally, the supply chain is still under pressure and especially, the shortages of semiconductors will constrain manufacturing of many products including marine engines and equipment.

We also face the uncertainty of the Liberal government’s proposed Luxury Tax on boats. (See the Featured article – Luxury Tax Survey – PRELIMINARY RESULTS). We are holding this survey open another week to gather additional data and your verbatim responses. If you have not already taken a few minutes to do this survey, please do it today.

In light of the current challenges, you might say that the boating industry has enjoyed a very easy, simple and consistent program of customer communications, but is being disrupted in a big way this year. 

We need to talk to our customers now, more than ever. COVID still makes boating a very compelling and safe activity. Things should be strongly in our favour right now, but the canceled shows and the Luxury Tax may be the Grinch in 2022.

Andy Adams – Editor

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