The global yachting sector is already showing promising signs of post-Lockdown recovery, according to one industry expert with an Isle of Man company.
Like most leisure industries, the yachting industry has been hit hard by the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak, with 81% of manufacturers reporting a decline in business through quarter one of 2020.
However, with lockdown restrictions easing in many nations and travel options increasing, there is hope on the horizon. Andrew Morgan, chief executive of Affinity Group, a corporate services provider for the yachting industry, with offices in the island and Malta, said: ‘Like most industries, the yachting sector was badly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and, with this being an important part of our business, we were naturally worried about the potential long-term effect it might have.
‘Luckily, we’ve been able to get through what we hope is the worst of it, our clients have weathered the storm and we’re looking forward to brighter times ahead.
‘Many potential acquisitions lined up earlier in the year were unable to complete during the height of the lockdown for various reasons, including clients’ reticence to commit and due to the complicated logistics of actually completing acquisitions.
‘However, we have seen that many of the deals which we had initially feared to have fallen through are now starting to conclude. While the number of new enquiries undoubtedly dropped earlier in the year, we are now seeing significantly more new acquisitions completing than we would typically expect during the height of summer.
‘Indeed, only this week we completed the acquisition of a 37-metre yacht for a client who intends to enjoy what remains of the summer charter season.’
While the easing of some lockdown restrictions has paused amid concerns over a second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak, it seems many are determined to enjoy what remains of the summer.
Mr Morgan said: ‘Obviously, we are not out of the woods yet, with many countries still bearing the brunt of the pandemic but there are reasons to be optimistic for the yachting industry.
‘After months of lockdown, the demand for memorable real-life experiences will soar and this is likely to continue as more regions ease restrictions. Indeed, having initially seen a number of 2020 charters postponed to 2021 our clients are now seeing an uplift in last-minute charter bookings and enquiries from potential clients regarding support and corporate services while purchasing their first or next yacht.’