Oct 27, 2020

The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference Industry Reconnect inaugural webinar series, taking place over four weeks in October, has provided valuable industry insight with one more session to go on Tuesday, 27th October at 12 UTC. The first three sessions were a great success with 250+ registered attendees per session.

The opening session, State of the industry around the world, provided an overview of how the boating industry was impacted by COVID-19 pandemic and what were the new trends and figures around the globe. Most regions have reported a significant increase in new and used boat sales as interest in boating climbs to all-time high. Speakers included: Sara Anghel, NMMA Canada President; Gary Groenewold, Vice President, Westrec Marinas; Oscar Siches, Consultant, Klaus Peters, Partner, Inter Marinas; Bruno Meier, Director, Aldar Marinas; Lawrence Chow, Chair, Hong Kong Boating Industry Association and Darren Vaux, President, Boating Industry Association Australia.

The second session, Boating & Tourism with COVID-19 – what’s next, provided insights on the global tourism industry, presented by UNWTO’s Regional Director for Europe, Alessandra Priante. With COVID-19 bringing the tourism industry down of levels to 20 years ago, Alessandra discussed priority areas to reimagine and rebuild a resilient tourism industry. The session then covered insights on the boating industry in Europe with the challenges and opportunities the pandemic has created, as well as what are the next steps to ensure speedy recovery, presented by EBI’s Secretary Generale Philip Easthill. The conversation continued with Dr Marios Menexiadis, Group Internal Audit Director of Aegean Airlines, on the devastating effect the pandemic has had on the aviation industry. This year so far has seen nearly 75% reduction on international passengers compared to last year, with the airline industry expecting to recover to pre-COVID-19 figures between 2022-2024. And last but not least, Rosemary Pavlatou, Director of A1 and BWA Yachting provided an insight on the challenges of yacht brokers & charters & ways to overcome them. The session ended on a positive note as Rosemary shared some figures showing a significant increase in new build yacht projects.

Session 3, Technology looking forward, focused on new technological developments in the recreational boating industry, a necessary element in a world where everything is interconnected as customers have become accustomed to one click actions. The session started with a presentation on a reliable and innovative technology for the realization of a sustainable marine and coastal seabed management plan, delivered by Albert Willemsen from ICOMIA and Giovanni Preda from TREVI. It was followed by Tom Mukamal, CEO of IGY Marinas and Pontus Fernstrom, EMEA Marine Segment Director in Garmin Europe who brought some very interesting points on how to improve customer experience; how new developments need to be considered in collaboration with the marina users, as well as ways to make boating easy by automating tricky processes and integrating more systems in order to enhance the boater experience. The next panellist, Dr Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, Co-founder, ECOncrete, brought slightly different perspective on how to integrate environmentally sensitive technologies into the planning of marine infrastructure, using ecological engineering to address the global challenges such as CO2 emissions, climate change, habitat loss, population growth and coastal hardening. The session ended with Iaian Archibald, CEO of Swell Advantage who delved in the technology applied in marinas through automation and areas this could be applied such as customer service, networks & dry stack automation, and optimization of resources (slips).

The last session of the World Marinas Conference Industry Reconnect webinar series, Vision of CHANGE, moderated by Melanie Symes, will take place next week on Tuesday, 27th October at 12pm UTC. Registration is free at https://www.icomia.org/wmc-industryreconnect

The session will include the following topics:

–       Sara Anghel, ICOMIA President – Introduction & planning for a better future

–       Esteban Biondi, PIANC – Designing sustainable and resilient marinas

–       Kellie Covington – Marinas and the Circular Economy

–       Renata Marevic, Marina Punat – Facilitating charter activity in marinas

–       Dee Caffari, Chair of The World Sailing Trust – Social inclusivity: Recognising women in the marine industry

–       Michiel de Jong, Chair of the Jury for the PIANC Marina Excellence Design Award – announcing the winner                 

For more info and the recordings of the previous sessions visit https://www.icomia.org/wmc-industryreconnect

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