Almost every industry either has, currently is or will be affected somehow by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The world has stood still and life as it was a few weeks ago now ceases to exist. For the yachting industry, business was going better than ever with charter and yacht sales. Even the cruise industry has increased by 20%+ in the last 5 years as it becomes more accessible to the public. But what will happen to the nautical and yacht industry with COVID-19 in the coming weeks, months or even years due to the current health crisis?
Yacht Captains and COVID-19
Normally April kicks off the start of the yachting season and captains and crew all over the world start their job hunt. Usually fairs and events scattered across the Mediterranean are the starting point when looking for a yacht. However, this year things will be different as none of those events will take place and yacht owners are being more cautious than ever about hiring an extra pair of hands. We recommend captains and crew take this opportunity to brush up their CVs, attend some of the free online courses to improve their skills and make sure they’re registered with any hiring agencies to be ready for when things kick off again. Once things are back to normal there could be stricter tests for captains and crew to ensure they are healthy and have not spent time in an infected area.
COVID-19: Charter yachts
With most of Europe in quarantine and travel regulations still in place, we are unsure of how the summer of 2020 will look for the charter industry. James Graham-Cloete from Thompson Westwood & White Yachts predicts the next few months will be a struggle but by late summer, September time things could be up and running again. The future of yacht charter could be changed after this pandemic and there could be a much higher need for refundable bookings, and added clauses in contracts. On the positive side, we could see an increase of interest of private charters over group charters or cruise holidays once things are back to normal.
Yacht sales during COVID-19
Many yachts used for charter are currently on sale due to the restrictions and high cost of mooring. Sales are looking slightly more positive and are more likely to recover quicker once the market is up and running. For those currently looking to buy, now could be a good time to get your hands on a yacht which could be 20-30% cheaper than the usual price.
Cruise ships have been heavily affected by the virus and even unable to dock due to a mass spread of the virus within the ship. The recent norovirus which was even nicknamed the ‘cruise ship virus’ also affected the industry in 2019 but it looks like the coronavirus will have a much longer lasting effect. Perhaps the fear around the quarantined cruise ships and the inability for them to dock earlier this year, could mean travellers will start to consider private yacht charter as a safer option in the future.
A message from everyone at Balearic Yacht Destination
During these difficult times we have to stick together and help each other more than ever. The consequences we foresee this pandemic causing to our industry, means our main priority is to prepare everything we can to push our members and customer demand. This way when the market is up and running again, we can continue to occupy a leading position and support the superyacht sector as much as we can.
The Balearic Yacht Destination was created for that exact reason, to unite the Balearic Islands nautical enterprises and support each other through the good and bad. And of course, to show our beautiful Balearic Islands as a top destination for superyachts.
We want to send you all a message of positivity and assure you that we will get through this no matter what comes next. Stay safe everyone.