The first face-to-face meeting of Global Marine Business Advisors was held in Spain, at the prestigious Real Club Nautico de Palma de Mallorca Yacht Club from 14th till 16th March 2022. Over 2 days several key issues affecting the recreational marine sector were raised and discussed. Boris Miškić, general manager of Marinetek Adriatic attended this important meeting with several interesting topics about the marine world. Discussions were mainly about small business operators and their difficulties in planning for the future in the current environment. The following key areas were covered over the 2 days, in particular, those issues facing GMBA clients:
1. The situation in the Ukraine and Russia was high on the agenda and the fallout from this situation for the marine industry, particularly the builders and the refit yards. During the two-day meeting, Zoom conversations were held with the GMBA consultants based in Russia who updated the meeting on the current situation they are facing. Exports of marine products to Russia have been stopped and with the summer season coming this will severely affect the operation of many businesses in Russia. One GMBA consultant suggested Russia will soon likely see mass unemployment there. On the other side of the equation, clearly, those supplying this market will also be severely affected.
2. Whilst the charter season bookings look very positive this year, there is some uncertainty in the market given the negative publicity about yacht seizures. In Croatia as an example, it was reported some charter contracts had been canceled.
3. The impact of weakening economic indicators on the industry was also discussed. Rising inflation is seen as a big concern given the rapidly increasing global prices of fuel/energy and inputs to boat production and marina construction.
4. The marine industry’s approach to sustainability continues to be a very important topic as consumers are increasingly demanding sustainability from the companies they purchase from and do business with. GMBA advisors discussed creating an approach to sustainability that demystifies sustainability into an approach that businesses can use to practically address sustainability issues.
5. Working with marine companies on their international growth strategies has been a major focus of GMBA advisors.
6. The boat shows are important because of high visitor traffic, sales, and the networking component. However, with order books full and limited inventory available many boatbuilders have little to exhibit and what they have is being focused on the major international shows. Participation in international shows is still not a straightforward experience and those who were venturing to shows, felt it critical to get outcomes. GMBA had assisted several companies in identifying new distributors, agents, boat builders and outlets for products.
Meeting in Palma also included an impressive presentation on sustainability by Baltic Yachts CEO, Anders Kurten, plus visits to the Baltic Yachts refit facility within STP and a tour of Astilleros de Mallorca by their CEO Diego Colon.
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