In a sign of unity, Europe’s boating industry associations jointly call on the EU institutions and national governments to support the sector and protect jobs against the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The call for action, co-signed by 18 associations, calls for swift measures to help companies survive the immediate crisis and actions to support recovery and stimulate demand.
The signatories call for concrete and swift measures to support the 32,000 companies and 280,000 jobs in the industry. It underlines that most companies in the sector are SMEs. Their economic contribution is particularly felt in coastal and peripheral regions, as well as along inland waters.
The paper calls for support to the industry through assistance programmes, introduction of a voucher scheme for tourism activities, open borders for goods and deliveries, as well as a risk-based approach to restarting of marinas, production and tourism activities in anticipation of the summer season. Following the lifting of restrictions, rebuilding consumer confidence and supporting recovery will be crucial. The paper likewise suggests concrete actions for this.
EBI will spearhead the advocacy efforts and take the policy paper into discussions with the EU institutions. EBI is also a member of the Tourism Manifesto Coalition, the voice of the tourism industry at European level. It also demands urgent supportive measures to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the entire tourism industry.
Companies in the industry have shown solidarity by donating Personal Protective Equipment to frontline medical staff and changed production to urgently required material. All boating industry associations in Europe are engaged in supporting their members to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, EBI and its sister association, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), are closely working together and providing synergies for their activities. ICOMIA is leading the global response and developing best practices for the restart of activities.
The full paper can be found here. It was signed by: Nautibel (Belgium), Croatian Employers Association - Nautical sector (Croatia), Croatian Boating Industry Association (Croatia), Association of Estonian Marine Industries (Estonia), European Boating Industry, Finnboat (Finland), Fédération des Industries Nautiques (France), Deutscher Boots- und Schiffbauer-Verband e.V. (Germany), Bundesverband Wassersportwirtschaft e.V. (Germany), Irish Marine Federation (Ireland), Confindustria Nautica (Italy), HISWA-RECRON (The Netherlands), Hungarian Marine Industry Federation (Hungary), POLBOAT (Poland), Slovenian Marine Industry Association (Slovenia), Asociación Nacional de Empresas Náuticas (Spain), SweBoat (Sweden), Schweizerischer Bootbauer-Verband (Switzerland).
EBI is also providing resources on the measures taken at EU-level regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. These can be found here.
Update (14 April 2020): APL, the Czech Boating Industry Association has joined as 19th co-signatory of the policy paper.
Update (15 April 2020): Skib & Båd, the Danish Boating Industry Association has joined as 20th co-signatory of the policy paper.