Displaying items by tag: COVID19

According to the Commission’s latest economic forecast, published in early July, the EU economy will experience a deep recession in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. This forecast updates the spring forecast published in early May. As lockdown are being lifted more gradually than originally anticipated, the impact on economic activity in 2020 will be more significant than projected in the earlier forecast. The return to growth in 2021 will also be less strong than projected in the spring.

Below are the key figures from the summer economic forecast

  • The Euro area economy will contract by 8.7% in 2020 and grow by 6.1% in 2021
  • The EU economy is forecast to contract by 8.3% in 2020 and grow by 5.8% in 2021

The full forecast and reports can be found here.

Published in Newsletter July 2020

The European Commission published the “Re-open EU” map that provides real-time information on EU internal borders, tourism services and health information. The aim is to support the summer tourism season by providing travellers with relevant information.

The map can be found here and is available for all EU countries (and Switzerland) in all official languages. The map was one of the demands voiced by tourism stakeholders (including EBI) to support the start of the tourism season in the context of COVID-19. Nautical tourism activities (marinas, water sports and boat charter/hire) are covered under the heading “beaches and tourist areas”.

Published in Newsletter June 2020

At the end of May, the European Commission unveiled the long-awaited EU Recovery Plan, Next Generation EU, with an unprecedented €750 billion backing. A mixture of grants and loans will be available for EU countries to finance their recovery, as well as several EU programmes being strengthened. Tourism and recreation are mentioned as the sectors most affected by COVID-19 and will be prioritised. The focus is on achieving a green and digital recovery.

European Boating Industry (EBI), on behalf of the European recreational boating industry welcomes the EU Recovery Plan. It calls for national and EU investment programmes to incorporate the particularities of the boating and nautical tourism industry and ensure that investment is provided for a green and digital transition. This can also allow nautical tourism to play a strong role in developing a more sustainable tourism and strengthen European regions long-term.

In its position paper reacting to the Recovery Plan, EBI presents recommendations to ensure survival of companies and for the green and digital transition to realise its potential for boating and nautical tourism. EBI calls for specific recognition and support for investment needs of the industry within national recovery plans and EU programmes. This requires a clearer differentiation between the needs and infrastructure of for maritime transport and recreational boating. EBI also supports the European Parliament’s call for a dedicated budget line for tourism in the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework.

EBI also provides its suggestions for specific investment priorities for the boating and nautical tourism industry as an ecosystem belonging to tourism and the maritime sector. These include the digital and green transformation of marinas, development of local and regional nautical tourism infrastructure, research and innovation as well as other concrete investment areas. This needs to be accompanied by the promotion of regional and European nautical tourism, which has substantial potential given the given the relative ease of implementing social distancing rules, renewed consumer interest in outdoor tourism and potential for development of regional tourism opportunities.

For the full position paper, please click here. More information on the Recovery Plan can be found here.

Published in Newsletter June 2020

European Boating Industry (EBI), on behalf of the European recreational boating industry welcomes the EU Recovery Plan. It calls for national and EU investment programmes to incorporate the particularities of the boating and nautical tourism industry and ensure that investment is provided for a green and digital transition. This can also allow nautical tourism to play a strong role in developing a more sustainable tourism and strengthen European regions long-term.

On 27th May, the European Commission unveiled the long-awaited EU Recovery Plan, Next Generation EU, with an unprecedented €750 billion backing. A mixture of grants and loans will be available for EU countries to finance their recovery, as well as several EU programmes being strengthened. Tourism and recreation are mentioned as the sectors most affected by COVID-19 and will be prioritised. The focus is on achieving a green and digital recovery. The next steps will be for national leaders in the EU Council to reach a political agreement on the funding and structure.

In its position paper reacting to the Recovery Plan, EBI presents recommendations to ensure survival of companies and for the green and digital transition to realise its potential for boating and nautical tourism. EBI calls for specific recognition and support for investment needs of the industry within national recovery plans and EU programmes. This requires a clearer differentiation between the needs and infrastructure of for maritime transport and recreational boating. EBI also supports the European Parliament’s call for a dedicated budget line for tourism in the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework.

EBI also provides its suggestions for specific investment priorities for the boating and nautical tourism industry as an ecosystem belonging to tourism and the maritime sector. These include the digital and green transformation of marinas, development of local and regional nautical tourism infrastructure, research and innovation as well as other concrete investment areas. This needs to be accompanied by the promotion of regional and European nautical tourism, which has substantial potential given the given the relative ease of implementing social distancing rules, renewed consumer interest in outdoor tourism and potential for development of regional tourism opportunities.

EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill commented “Over 95% of the over 32,000 companies in our industry are small or medium-sized enterprises. COVID-19 will lead to a substantial drop in investment potential for many companies, which is why simple and ready-to-use recovery investment is urgently needed. We therefore welcome the EU’s proposals for recovery and investment into a green and digital transformation. The recommendations we provide are crucial to help companies survive, protect jobs and come back stronger. Our aim is to work with the EU institutions and stakeholders to lead a long-lasting green and digital transformation of boating and nautical tourism while supporting sustainable tourism.”

For the full position paper, please click here.

Published in Latest News

1. Context

The boating industry (production of boats, equipment, trade, services) and nautical tourism sector (marinas, boat charter/hire in coastal and inland waters, water sports) is made up of 32,000 companies, over 95% of which are SMEs. They employ 280,000 people directly with thousands more along the supply chains. European regions that are coastal, peripheral, islands as well as those with inland waterways and lakes largely rely on the industry. Around 48 million EU citizens regularly enjoy boating and waters ports, making it an attractive leisure pursuit.

As the impact of COVID-19 has been substantial with production sites temporarily closing or reducing their output and tourism activities severely impacted by restrictions and border closures, this paper

1. provides concrete recommendations for policymakers to support the survival of SMEs

2. presents valuable opportunities for a green and digital recovery, while supporting sustainable tourism, and

3. proposes to reduce bureaucracy for a fast-track recovery of the sector.


Coastal, maritime and inland waterway tourism, […] is present is many EU regions and is creating innovative, localised tourism offers for off-season business and recreation opportunities.” - Commission Communication on Tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond


Impact from COVID-19 is particularly high due to the seasonal nature of the sector and a short period of positive cash flow. According to EBI estimates, the revenue losses for 2020 could be up to 50% for parts of the ecosystem at European level, with variations between countries. This was also acknowledged by the European Commission in its proposal for the EU-wide recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, outlining that tourism is one of the hardest hit sectors. The European Commission indicated that tourism could see at least a 70% drop in turnover in the second quarter of 2020 and estimates that 161 billion euros is needed in direct investment in tourism. Additionally, the effect of GDP and consumer confidence decline will also have an impact in the coming years that needs to be anticipated.

European Boating Industry (EBI) as the voice of the industry in Europe welcomes the European Commission’s recovery plan Next Generation EU. With this paper, the sector would like to emphasise its particularities that should be considered and present opportunities for a green and digital recovery and outline the sector’s contribution to support a more sustainable tourism.

2. Green and digital transition

Given the importance of a pristine marine environment for boating and its attractiveness, the sector has developed a proactive approach to environmental sustainability. This is a good basis for further investment to green a sector that offers consumers the opportunity to experience and understand the value of the environment. On the digital transition, there is still substantial scope to integrate key trends such as connectivity, digital infrastructure and the Internet of Things, as well as platforms to automatise customer interaction that is crucial in the context of COVID-19. A well-managed recovery can also address over-tourism with nautical tourism contributing to a move from mass tourism to sustainable tourism. This is a key contribution to a sustainable development of the blue economy. Nautical tourism holds added value in the context of COVID-19 given the relative ease of implementing social distancing rules and the development of increasingly popular regional tourism opportunities.


The Commission will promote a transition toward a more sustainable model of coastal and maritime tourism, as part of its strategic approach for a sustainable blue economy.” - Commission Communication on Tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond


Given the large proportion of SMEs in the industry and the expected drop in investment, simple and ready-to-use recovery investment is needed. Investment in nautical tourism infrastructure presents challenges, due to the financial sector’s reluctance to invest in the sector, worsened by the current long process for obtaining permits (>5 years). In areas with sufficient infrastructure, the focus should be on renovating rather than building new infrastructure.

Green transition

  • Investment support for renovation and environmental transformation of marinas through renewable energy installations (such as wind, tidal, solar), for electricity needs of marinas and charging of increasing number of electric boats, car parks and shore power, power storage, circular approach to waste disposal and the use of water through small-scale local desalination plants
  • Adaptation of marinas to the impacts of climate change and the expected increase in extreme weather through investment in a more resilient infrastructure
  • Development and renovation of local and regional nautical tourism infrastructure in coastal areas and on inland waterways (marinas, docks, locks, waterways)
  • Roll-out of eco-friendly permanent mooring solutions in marine protected areas and areas of high ecological value as alternatives to anchoring and existing permanent mooring solutions
  • Research and innovation investment: circular economy, recycling of existing boat building materials, use of new materials (including bio-based), low-emission engines and alternatives (electric, hybrid, hydrogen)

Marina certification: There are several renowned “clean marina” schemes, such as Blue Flag, Gold Anchor, Blue Star Marina. In France, for instance, the "Clean Harbour Guidelines" provide such a certification. By January 2019, more than 90% of marinas in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur were committed to its certification process.


Digital transition

  • Digital transformation of marinas through roll-out of 5G, Wi-Fi and digital infrastructure allowing for connected boating, smart marinas, improved land-sea connectivity, Internet of Things, digital connectivity and automatised customer interaction technology
  • Research and innovation investment: connected boats, autonomous boats, and improvement of on-board safety, citizen science, smart marinas
  • Investigation and pilot projects between universities, research institutions and marinas as means to develop new projects in close connection with experts (equally valuable for environmental transformation)

A shift towards sustainable tourism

  • Diversification of nautical tourism offer through schemes decreasing seasonality, attracting new audiences and removal of barriers
  • Promotion of regional and European nautical tourism through dedicated campaigns at EU level in cooperation with stakeholders targeting new audiences

This needs to be accompanied by a dedicated approach to develop skills and career pathways for all areas of the nautical tourism and boating industry at EU and national level. Schools, universities, and vocational training institutes should be incentivised and financially supported to provide training and support careers in the industry.

Investment, in particular for infrastructure requires a swift approval process. We therefore propose the creation of a ‘marine fast track’ at national level for approval of projects and permits with clear timelines and procedures.


Value of marina investmentCoastal and inland marinas, of which there are over 6,000 in Europe, are intrinsically linked to the local economy and tourist offer. Boaters visiting marinas provide income for local economies, restaurants, and shops. It is estimated that for every 25 berths, one direct job is created and for every 4 berths one indirect job is created. The average expenditure per pleasure boat is estimated at 6000€ per year. Around 2/3 of benefits go to local or national activities.


3. EU Recovery Plan

To ensure that the green and digital transition can realise its potential for the boating and nautical tourism industry, a number of cross-cutting recommendations are included below based on the various elements of the EU Recovery Plan:

1. Specific recognition and support for investment needs of the boating and nautical tourism industry within national recovery plans and EU funding schemes as set out above

2. Provide a better differentiation between maritime transport and recreational boating in terms of infrastructure investment needs, demands and resources (e.g. differences between commercial port and marina for recreational boats)

3. Recognise the role and potential of nautical tourism for the economic development of regions through cohesion funding, including those previously reliant on the production of fossil fuels

4. Development of concrete investment priorities for individual sub-sectors of the tourism and maritime ecosystems at EU level

5. Implementation of a dedicated budget line for tourism in the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework as requested by the European Parliament

6. New support through recovery funds should be combined with existing funds at EU and national level that should be prioritised accordingly

7. Development of guidelines for companies to access funding schemes at national and EU level under the EU Recovery Plan


The role of nautical tourism in regional transformation: There are several successful examples of open-pit mines being turned into lakes and developed for nautical tourism. The Lusatian Lake District in Eastern Germany is based on decommissioned lignite opencast mines that were turned into a lake district with more than 20 lakes and canals over the past years. Many nautical tourism activities now exist in this new tourism region, such as marinas, recreational fishing, water sports and sailing. This is intrinsically connected to the wider economic development of the region and regional tourism offer.


Published in Latest News
Tuesday, 02 June 2020 07:59

European Commission Spring Economic Forecast

The European Commission published its Spring economic forecast on 6 May, the first one to fully consider the impact of COVID-19. It provides a forecast at European level, for EU countries, candidate countries and certain other non-EU countries. It concludes that the impact of COVID-19 will affect all countries, even if at different levels. The same is the case for the speed of the recovery expected in 2021. Below the key indicators for the EU and Euro area.

  • The Euro area economy will contract by 7.75% in 2020 and grow by 6,25% in 2021. The EU economy is forecast to contract by 7.5% in 2020 and grow by around 6% in 2021.
  • The unemployment rate in the Euro area will rise from 7.5% in 2019 to 9.5% in 2020 before reducing to 8.5% in 2021. In the EU, it will rise from 6.7% in 2019 to 9% in 2020 and then reduce to around 8% in 2021.
  • Inflation in the Euro area (measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices), is forecast at 0.2% in 2020 and 1.1% in 2021. For the EU, inflation is forecast at 0.6% in 2020 and 1.3% in 2021.

The forecast is based on a set of assumptions about the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic and containment measures. It assumes that restrictions will be gradually lifted from May. The full forecast and country-specific information can be found here.

Published in Newsletter May 2020

Untitled 6European Boating Industry (EBI) joined a strategic dialogue with EU Commissioner for Industry and Internal Market Thierry Breton on the recovery of the maritime sector following COVID-19. EBI presented the impacts of COVID-19 on the recreational boating industry and the opportunities to lift the sector from the crisis through measures at EU level. The other maritime sector stakeholders represented were ship builders, maritime equipment producers and ship owners.

The meeting allowed EBI to present the recreational boating industry at the highest political level of the European Commission. EBI raised the strategic importance of Europe as the number one region for the production and export of recreational boats and nautical tourism. The sector offers a success story of European manufacturing with several industrial champions and a vibrant tourism sector. The entire industry consists of 32,000 companies of which the majority are SMEs and employs 280,000 people.

The meeting came on day after the European Commission presented its long-awaited proposal for the EU recovery plan with an unprecedented €750 billion recovery fund. It identified the tourism and maritime mobility sector as key areas for investment by the EU and Member States in the recovery period. During the meeting, Commissioner Breton highlighted the importance of the maritime industry ecosystem for Europe’s economy and recovery after the COVID-19 crisis. In his view, the industry has a crucial role to play for a digital and green recovery where public investment will play a substantial role.

EBI echoed the calls first made in the joint policy paper of 20 boating industry associations in Europe in mid-April (see here). This consists of a coordinated opening of borders for travellers, navigation, supply chains and tourism in the short-term under strict health and safety conditions. This needs to be followed up by stimulating consumer demand through promotion of European tourism. Furthermore, the EU’s Recovery Plan should play a strong role in investment and focus on the environmental and digital transformation of the boating industry.

The other participants in the meeting represented ship builders (SEA Europe, Fincantieri, Meyer Werft), maritime equipment manufacturers (ECA Group) and ship owners (Vroon Group).

Published in Newsletter May 2020

On 13 May the European Commission presented a package of measures to support the tourism industry in the COVID-19 crisis and start the summer season (see here). It encourages consumers to take advantage of the summer tourism season and help the EU tourism sector recover. It includes an overall strategy towards recovery in 2020 and beyond, a gradual lifting of border restrictions, re-establishment of transport links, criteria for restoring tourism activities and health protocols, as well as a recommendation on vouchers as alternatives to reimbursement . These guidelines and recommendations are provided to EU countries and companies for implementation.

Throughout these measures, the Commission recognises the importance of on-water recreation, and the maritime and inland waterway tourism industry. At several points, it highlights that leisure boating should not fall under a general prohibition but be allowed following a risk-based approach and implementing specific procedures, such as regular cleaning and disinfection. EU countries should lift restrictions for leisure boating based on specific health and safety protocols. The Commission specifically mentions marinas and resuming activity in these under strict health and safety conditions. The Commission recognises that domestic and intra-EU tourism will be increasingly popular and should be promoted. It sees a strong role for maritime and inland waterway tourism in this.

The announcement from the European Commission comes after many weeks of advocacy activities and dozens of virtual meetings by EBI with the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and other members of the EU institutions. Advocacy actions were based on the joint policy paper that 19 European boating industry associations and EBI signed in early April (see here). This unity has been key to advocacy. Several boating industry associations have also prepared guidelines to facilitate the application of social distancing rules and all applicable health and safety requirements.

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the European travel and tourism sector of which EBI is a member, has issued a statement on the European Commission’s Tourism package. It highlights that the package represents a first and important step to facilitate travel and tourism in Europe, support the sector’s recovery from the crisis and enable a more sustainable tourism ecosystem in the future. It calls for a swift implementation and further measures to ensure that the tourism industry can restart and recover. The full statement can be found here.

Published in Newsletter May 2020

Maritime sector strategic dialogue European Boating Industry (EBI) joined a strategic dialogue with EU Commissioner for Industry and Internal Market Thierry Breton on the recovery of the maritime sector following COVID-19. EBI presented the impacts of COVID-19 on the recreational boating industry and the opportunities to lift the sector from the crisis through measures at EU level. The other maritime sector stakeholders represented were ship builders, maritime equipment producers and ship owners.

The meeting allowed EBI to present the recreational boating industry at the highest political level of the European Commission. EBI raised the strategic importance of Europe as the number one region for the production and export of recreational boats and for nautical tourism. The sector offers a success story of European manufacturing with several industrial champions and a vibrant tourism sector. The entire industry consists of 32,000 companies of which the majority are SMEs and employs 280,000 people.

The meeting came on day after the European Commission presented its long-awaited proposal for the EU recovery plan with an unprecedented €750 billion recovery fund. It identified the tourism and maritime mobility sector as key areas for investment by the EU and Member States in the recovery period. During the meeting, Commissioner Breton highlighted the importance of the maritime industry ecosystem for Europe’s economy and recovery after the COVID-19 crisis. In his view, the industry has a crucial role to play for a digital and green recovery where public investment will play a substantial role.

EBI echoed the calls first made in the joint policy paper of 20 boating industry associations in Europe in mid-April . This consists of a coordinated opening of borders for travellers, navigation, supply chains and tourism in the short-term under strict health and safety conditions. This needs to be followed up by stimulating consumer demand through promotion of European tourism. Furthermore, the EU’s Recovery Plan should play a strong role in investment and focus on the environmental and digital transformation of the boating industry.

EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill, who represented EBI during the meeting, commented “Being a part of the dialogue with Commissioner Breton shows the strategic importance of our industry for the maritime and tourism ecosystems. COVID-19 will have a substantial impact on our industry, and it is crucial that this is taken into account for the recovery plans of the EU and Member States. Investment in the promotion of European nautical tourism and a green and digital transition of the boating industry is needed. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with Commissioner Breton.”

The other participants in the meeting represented ship builders (SEA Europe, Fincantieri, Meyer Werft), maritime equipment manufacturers (ECA Group) and ship owners (Vroon Group).

Published in Latest News

On 13 May, the European Commission presented a package of measures to support the tourism industry in the COVID-19 crisis and start the summer season. Many measures that formed the European boating industry’s joint call that EBI has advocated for, have been taken up. The European Commission recognises on-water recreation and nautical tourism as a key part of Europe’s tourism industry, recovery period and ready to restart following health and safety protocols.

The European Commission presented a package of guidelines and recommendations to gradually open borders and allow tourism businesses to restart while respecting health and safety measures. It encourages consumers to take advantage of the summer tourism season and help the EU tourism sector recover. It includes an overall strategy towards recovery in 2020 and beyond, a gradual lifting of border restrictions, re-establishment of transport links, criteria for restoring tourism activities and health protocols, as well as a recommendation on vouchers as alternatives to reimbursement. These guidelines and recommendations are provided to EU countries and companies for implementation.

Throughout these measures, the Commission recognises the importance of on-water recreation, and the maritime and inland waterway tourism industry. At several points, it highlights that leisure boating should not fall under a general prohibition but be allowed following a risk-based approach and implementing specific procedures, such as regular cleaning and disinfection. EU countries should lift restrictions for leisure boating based on specific health and safety protocols. The Commission specifically mentions marinas and resuming activity in these under strict health and safety conditions. The Commission recognises that domestic and intra-EU tourism will be increasingly popular and should be promoted. It sees a strong role for maritime and inland waterway tourism in this.

The announcement from the European Commission comes after many weeks of advocacy activities and dozens of virtual meetings by EBI with the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and other members of the EU institutions. Advocacy actions were based on the joint policy paper that 19 European boating industry associations and EBI signed in early April (Link). This unity has been key to advocacy. Several boating industry associations have also prepared guidelines to facilitate the application of social distancing rules and all applicable health and safety requirements.

European Boating Industry Secretary-General Philip Easthill commented “We are a fundamentally European industry. Boating relies on open borders between countries for navigation, holiday travel and supply chains. We support the measures announced by the European Commission to gradually reopen borders and swiftly restart nautical tourism and support recovery in our sector. We have been advocating for many of these measures since the start of the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to do so. Taking the European Commission’s risk-based approach, the conditions are in place for boating, boat charter, marinas and its infrastructure to swiftly reopen under strict health and safety rules across Europe."

When it comes to the introduction of vouchers as alternatives for reimbursement, we urge EU countries to include individual tourism activities in their scope. Nautical tourism activities, such as boat charter, must be a part of this to ensure a level playing field in the tourism industry. National and eventually a European guarantee fund could help protect consumers and support companies’ liquidity at a critical time."

EBI will continue its advocacy to ensure that the boating industry continues to be recognised and address the key issues in the COVID-19 crisis. EBI is also providing resources on the measures taken at EU-level regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. These can be found here.

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The full information on the Tourism Package can be found on the website of the European Commission.

Published in Latest News
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