Confidence in Germany’s marine leisure industry is high and builders’ order books are full, but changing boat usage, dated business models, and an ageing demographic present both challenges and opportunities
German leisure marine firms reported another year of moderate but steady growth in 2017, with sales of marine goods and services (excluding superyachts) up by 4% over the previous year to just over €2bn. Jürgen Tracht, managing director of national watersports association BVWW, told IBI that it was the best year since the financial crisis of 2008 /09 – buoyed, in part, by a strong and stable economy. “We’ve had growth in nearly all segments of the watersports industry,” he said. “The only exception was diving, which is not doing that well because of the political situation in Egypt and Turkey – especially Egypt, which is the most important diving spot for Europeans, Germans included.” According to the BVWW’s annual year-end survey, 85.7% of respondent companies said that business was ‘better than’ or ‘equal to’ the year before – the highest level of confidence since the global financial crisis.