ICOMIA World Marinas Conference Industry Reconnect Webinar series


ICOMIA World Marinas Conference Industry Reconnect inaugural webinar series, which took place over four weeks in October, has been 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 an 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 a 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 into 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 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 a 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, Vision of CHANGE, provided a detailed look at why sustainability matters for marinas and how to collaborate in a better way and find solutions that meet the needs of both boaters and nature. The session started with a presentation from Sara Anghel, ICOMIA President, addressing the End of Life Boats challenges, and the environmental pressures. The session continued with Esteban Biondi, PIANC on designing sustainable and resilient marinas by focusing on the guest experience and social and environmental sustainability. He summarised that marina design goals should focus on providing an authentic experience, as well as working with nature, promoting the culture and building stronger local communities. The conversation continued with a presentation from Kellie Covington on the Circular Economy, and different ways for marinas to adapt it, by being a hub, supporting innovation and regenerate. Then Renata Marevic, Marina Punat shared her extensive experience on how to facilitate charter activity in marinas, identifying the challenges and how best to overcome them and the benefits this brings to the marina. Renata also talked about the importance of the Youth & Sailing Club, as a way to introduce children to the sport from early on and help to build the local community. And, last but not least, Dee Caffari, Chair of The World Sailing Trust shared her insight on how to address inclusivity and allow more diversity and training and mentoring platforms, how to collaborate more and share best practices. The session ended with Michiel de Jong, Chair of the Jury for the PIANC Marina Excellence Design Award– announcing the winner of the Marina Excellence Design” Jack Nichol” Award.For more info and the recordings of the previous sessions visit https://www.icomia.org/wmc-industryreconnect