HISWA Holland Marine and RECON plan to finalise the deal next month

In the face of consumers’ changing vacationing patterns, HISWA Holland Marine, the Dutch boating sector lobby and RECON, the Netherlands’ leisure industry trade group, plan to merge.

“A merger is necessary,” HISWA Holland Marine chairman Peter Brussel said in a statement released during the 2018 METSTRADE Show. “There are many advantages. RECRON and HISWA have much in common and their services dovetail in many respects.”

RECRON’s 1,600 members are leisure sector companies that account for over half of that industry’s annual turnover. It has a strong lobby record. HISWA Holland Marine has 850 members – including boatbuilders, brokers, naval architects, marinas, charterers, retailers and exporters – and has much expertise in marketing, product development and watersports policy.

The merger is expected to be finalised next month. It responds to significant changes in how consumers spend their vacations. The marine sector is greying, and boat ownership appeals less to younger people. Research shows the latter are keener to lease a boat – perhaps several times a year – and want marinas to offer far more facilities than has been the case so far.

“The market is changing fast and the consumer of today and tomorrow is unpredictable,” said Brussel. “Finding and hiring professionals is a crucial condition for growth.” He added the mariner and leisure sectors plan to mount a sustained lobby effort with public in the Netherlands and abroad.

Brussel said the merger will create a strong organisation, staffed by 30 professionals, that will be the voice of 2,500 companies.

HISWA Holland Marine Director Geert Dijks said the merger will create a trade group consisting of three departments: Leisure, Yacht Building and Water Sports and Policy.

The HISWA name stays in effect for certification of companies and people and for use during trade shows and export promotion drives. “RECRON and HISWA Holland Marine members will soon be part of a large, strong professional trade organization with influence and knowhow in leisure and yacht building,” said Brussel.