Koreans have only started to enjoy recreational boating in the past decade, encouraged by a government determined to make leisure marine a thriving sector for the country’s economy. Korean GDP grew at 2.8% in 2013, picking up from a couple of years with the economy expanding at a mere 2% having nosedived from 6.3% growth in 2010.
The upward trend is estimated to continue throughout 2014, however, with annual expansion forecasted to be in the 3.8% mark – boosted particularly by the rebound of the US market. The macro-economics bode well for growing boating. So, on paper at least, does the geography with South Korea being situated on a peninsula and flanked by water. However, the coastal regions were opened to the public just six years ago and today only a small portion of the 50-million inhabitants go boating for leisure. But that trend is increasing.
Boat registration and boat driving licences have been rocketing since 2008. the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for registered boats is 15.9% for the five-year period to 2013 totalling 15,285 units. Similarly, the total number of boat driving licences issued in the same period is 140,137, a 7.2% CAGR.