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Thursday, 25 February 2021

Tourism Manifesto Exit strategy imageThe European Tourism Manifesto, together with its members, including EBI, has released a series of joint recommendations for Member States to relaunch travel and tourism in Europe in time for summer 2021, under the title “Exit Strategy: preparing to restart travel and tourism”. The document tries to achieve a joint way forward towards restoring travel and tourism and freedom of movement, and has been shared with national governments.

The key proposal is the creation of a Commission Task Force for the restoration of free movement of people. Such Task Force would track the progress and impact of vaccination campaigns and mitigation measures (tests and quarantines), and would develop and implement a roadmap that would ensure a coordinated return to free movement. This roadmap would be updated regularly, reflecting changes in the development of the pandemic.

Other measures include coordination among governments on travel restrictions and requirements to offer predictability to travellers, business and workers; a harmonised EU framework for travel-related testing, that includes affordable testing, mutual recognition of tests between Member States, and the validation of rapid tests for travel and tourism purposes; coordination on national initiatives on E-health initiatives, allowing fast and digital verification of travellers’ vaccination or test status; and coordination in the reopening of tourism activities.

The full Exit Strategy, can be found here.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

IBM 2021 logoBrussels/Düsseldorf 23 February 2021 – boot Düsseldorf and European Boating Industry announce that the sixth edition of the annual International Breakfast Meeting will move to a digital format. On 20 April, high-level panellists from business and politics will discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the recreational boating industry, how the industry can recover and new trends and opportunities.

Every year, the International Breakfast Meeting (IBM) held at boot Düsseldorf offers trade visitors, industry, and journalists the opportunity to exchange information on the latest market trends, regulations, and innovation, as well as to develop new contacts and networks.

This year, the co-organisers of the annual International Breakfast Meeting, boot Düsseldorf and European Boating Industry (EBI) took the decision to move to a digital format despite the cancellation of the trade show. The aim is to continue to provide market intelligence and connect business and politics at a crucial time for the industry. The sixth edition of the IBM will be under the theme of “A Corona reboot of tourism and recreation – What future for boating?”. It will take place on 20 April from 10:00 – 12:00 (CEST).

At the centre of the 2021 IBM will be the presentation of an EBI study on the impact of COVID-19 on the industry and outlook of the industry, which presents new industry data based on a survey of companies. Presentations on new trends in travel and tourism will follow alongside a discussion of the future EU tourism strategy and how to build momentum for boating in 2021 and beyond.

Confirmed as speakers are Petros Michelidakis (Project Director boot Düsseldorf), Amelie Cesar and Natascha Zwenke (Study leaders, Jade University Wilhelmshaven), Lyublena Dimova (Research Manager, European Travel Commission), Ismail Ertug (Member of the European Parliament) and Gianguido Girotti (Deputy CEO Brand & Product Strategy, Groupe Beneteau).

Announcing the 2021 IBM, Petros Michelidakis said: “The International Breakfast Meeting is the leading forum to discuss the industry’s most pressing issues. While boot Düsseldorf 2021 has had to be cancelled, we are delighted to host experts and policy-makers for a highly relevant exchange in a digital format. It promises to be insightful as we look back at 2020 and take a glance into the future for the boating and water sports industry. We look forward to welcoming the industry back to boot Düsseldorf 2022 with an IBM taking place in-person.

Philip Easthill (Secretary-General, EBI) commented: “We are delighted to again co-organise IBM with our partner boot Düsseldorf, who we thank for their support to industry in these difficult times. We are witnessing the rapid development of new consumer trends. IBM will be an anchor point to look at these trends and opportunities that will define 2021 and beyond, as well as the EU’s future approach to tourism and the blue economy.

More information on the event and past editions can be found here. Registration for the online event is open as of today and can be found here.

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About boot Düsseldorf

boot Düsseldorf is the biggest boat and water sports trade fair in the world with almost 250,000 visitors and is the place where all of the industry meets every January. About 2,000 exhibitors are presenting their interesting innovations, attractive new developments and maritime equipment with the next edition taking place from 22 to 30 January 2022. The market will be coming to Düsseldorf to provide an exciting insight into the entire water sports world for the nine-day exhibition covering 220,000 square metres in 17 different halls. There is something for every water sports enthusiast, with the main focus on boats and yachts, motors and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities, beach resorts and chartering. All necessary information can be found on boot Düsseldorf’s website,

Press contact: Tania Vellen, Phone: +49 211 4560 518, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Cathrin Neitzel, Phone: +49 211 4560 589, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About European Boating Industry

European Boating Industry (EBI) represents the recreational boating industry in Europe. It encompasses all related sectors, such as boatbuilding, equipment manufacturing, marinas and service providers. The industry is a significant contributor to the European economy, representing 32,000 companies that employ over 280,000 people directly. The vast majority of the sector is made up of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). More information on EBI’s website:

Press contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Tourism Manifesto Recovery Paper Feb 2020 1The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, which is made up of over 60 European public and private tourism-related organisations (including EBI), has published a paper titled “Call for action: Accelerate social and economic recovery by investing in sustainable tourism development”, presenting a non-exhaustive list of reforms and investment ideas related to travel and tourism. The alliance advocates for these to be implemented through national recovery plans, which are currently being finalised and which will receive funding from NextGenerationEU, the EU’s recovery plan.

The travel and tourism sector accounts for 9.5% of the EU’s GDP and is largely made up of SMEs. It provides jobs for 22.6 million people, and it is estimated that €1 of value generated by tourism results in an additional 56 cents of added value in indirect effects on other industries. However, the sector has been substantially hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and €161 billion worth of investment is necessary for it to return to pre-crisis levels. The EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, together with national recovery plans, presents an opportunity for investment in the tourism sector, in particular to enhance the sector’s resilience and to advance in its green and digital transitions.

The wide range of proposals includes, for instance, the greening of buildings used for tourism, the upscaling of circular economy practices, investing in sustainable mobility projects, the development of integrated connectivity solutions, the rollout of rapid broadband services, the development of digital tools, the use of data for smart tourism management, and the promotion of skills training, among other ideas.

In particular, the paper includes several investment ideas specific to nautical tourism and recreational boating that EBI developed as part of the joint paper. It calls for the development, renovation and environmental transformation of coastal and inland marinas (such as new berths, renewable energy installations, power storage, waste disposal facilities, and climate change adaptation), as well as the roll-out of eco-friendly permanent mooring solutions for recreational boats in protected areas. Furthermore, it calls for incentives to retrofit boat engines, and to research, develop and deploy clean fuels, new electrical and hybrid engines, hydrogen, and other new propulsion systems. It also advocates for funding to develop digital tools to improve the boating experience, including marinas, navigation, maintenance, and weather information.

The paper will be shared with the EU institutions and the 27 national tourism Ministers. The full paper can be found in the European Tourism Manifesto website here.

Monday, 01 February 2021

The Manta is the flagship project of The SeaCleaners. It is a giant ship designed to collect, treat and repurpose large volumes of floating plastic debris present in highly polluted waters, along the coasts, in estuaries and in the mouths of large rivers, before it disperses and enters the marine ecosystem. After months of research and development starting in 2019, the final design of the Manta has finally been unveiled. Its construction will start in 2022, while its first field mission will be launched in 2024.

The ship will be 56.5 metres long, 26 metres wide (46 metres wide with outriggers) and 62 meters high, and will weigh 1800 tonnes. It will operate autonomously 75% of the time without fossil fuels, through 1500 square metres of sails installed on automated rigging, together with an electrical motor powered by on-board renewable energy production equipment (two wind turbines, hydro-generators and photovoltaic solar panels).

Operating mainly in Asia, Africa and South America, it will collect between 5 000 and 10 000 tonnes of debris per year, at a rate of 1 to 3 tonnes per hour, including macro-waste and smaller debris from 10 millimetres upwards. It will include four different collection methods: inclined conveyor belts under the ship, two small decontamination boats embarked on-board the Manta (the Mobula 8 and the Mobula 10), three floatable collection systems, and two cranes for larger debris. When collected, waste will be manually sorted according to its material. While metal, glass and aluminium waste will be stored for recycling in onshore waste management plants, plastic waste will be converted into electricity through pyrolysis in the Manta’s on-board repurposing plant.

In addition to its collection activities, the Manta will disseminate solutions for plastic waste management and clean shipping in the countries it visits, it will receive the public aboard for awareness and educational purposes, and it will host international scientific missions thanks to its on-board research facilities.

The Manta will help battle the scourge of marine pollution. Every year, between 9 and 12 million tonnes of plastic pollution are dumped into the ocean, and at the current rate, the amount of plastic in the seas will triple in the next 20 years. 1.5 million animals die each year because of plastic pollution.

Learn more about the Manta through this video and through the SeaCleaners website.

Monday, 01 February 2021

On 27 January, EBI participated in an online event titled “Electrification workshop: Leisure boats” organised by consulting firm WSP, in conjunction with the EU’s Periscope project and Business Region Göteborg (Sweden).

EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill explained the EU policy drivers that will contribute to the sustainable transformation of recreational boating, where electrification has an important role to play. This includes the European Green Deal, the Healthy Oceans Mission, the ongoing review of the Recreational Craft Directive, and the Sustainable Blue Economy Strategy (which will be published this year). These policy initiatives, together with EU funding programmes and the EU and national recovery plans, are of utmost importance in the transition towards electrical boating, alternative fuels and other new propulsion systems.

The workshop also included speakers from Arendal municipality (Norway) and Amsterdam municipality, who discussed the role of local authorities in the electrification of boating, as well as speakers from the companies Vita Yachts and Candela, who discussed issues relating to the market for electrical leisure boats. The outcome of the workshop will be summarised and used in a report produced by WSP on behalf of Periscope and Business Region Göteborg.

Monday, 01 February 2021

EBI and ICOMIA have entered a new partnership with mutual benefits for both EBI and ICOMIA members and an increased focus on the further development of nautical tourism. ICOMIA and EBI are very excited about this new partnership agreement and look forward to joining forces to tackle important industry issues together.

ICOMIA is the international association representing the recreational boating industry. Its full members are global marine industry associations. ICOMIA is a longstanding stakeholder in the various relevant working groups of the European Commission and employs technical and environmental specialists who are engaged in EU-related work. Its mission is to act as the voice of the recreational marine industry worldwide to facilitate, influence, inform and research.

Through this agreement, ICOMIA will continue to provide technical and environmental support and ensure cohesive representation of and communication with EBI and ICOMIA members. ICOMIA will assist with statistical work or studies, including the annual ICOMIA Statistics Book.

As part of this new partnership, EBI will start providing bi-monthly monitoring newsletters, which will include updates on EU work and EBI’s advocacy activities to keep its global partner updated.

The agreement was signed by the Presidents of the two associations, Sara Anghel and Jean-Pierre Goudant, as well as their respective Secretary-Generals, Udo Kleinitz and Philip Easthill.

Udo Kleinitz, Secretary-General of ICOMIA, said: “EBI and ICOMIA have a high overlap in their European membership. From the outset we have been working on complementing each other’s work rather than duplicating. This agreement is a step to implement better exchange of information and joint action. I believe I can speak for ICOMIA and its members in saying we are very pleased about the public message it sends in demonstrating our stronger ties.

Philip Easthill, Secretary-General of EBI, said: “We are delighted to have signed the renewed and extended partnership agreement with ICOMIA. It allows for optimal communication channels and cooperation between the work of EBI at EU level and ICOMIA’s global activities. We have agreed a partnership that supports both associations’ members and the entire recreational boating industry to create suitable regulatory conditions.”

Monday, 01 February 2021

At the first General Assembly of the year, on 26 January, EBI met with its members to discuss the key aspects of 2020 and laid out the plans for the coming year. Two new sustaining members were welcomed – TransEurope Marinas and EMCI Register – further increasing EBI’s position as the voice of the European recreational boating industry.

The General Assembly, held online, discussed the successful progress made in the past year, which saw EBI take a leading role in its outreach to the EU institutions with dozens of meetings with Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission at highest political level. Besides informing the industry and advocating for its key issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, EBI was active on a number of policy areas forthe industry. This includes the Recreational Craft Directive, which is currently being reviewed, international trade policy, EU tourism policy, end-of-life boats, decarbonisation, the EU Healthy Ocean Mission, funding opportunities and other issues that impact the boating industry.

The General Assembly unanimously approved the applications of two new sustaining members: EMCI Register and TransEurope Marinas. Sustaining members benefit from EBI’s extensive network and participate in its activities. They also gain access to a broad base of expertise and support for their own activities.

EMCI Register is a young and dynamic RCD notified body. Staffed by a young and ambitious team, its focus is on using software and digital innovation to make the certification process more efficient without skimping on quality. EMCI Register does this by employing an in-house software team that focuses on optimizing the administrative processes of a notified body, maximizing efficiency.

TransEurope Marinas is an association of over 80 select European marinas across 11 different countries, where the majority fly the Blue Flag or hold another certification (Blue Stars, Gold Anchors or Ports Propres) in recognition of proficient environmental management. The principle aims of the group are to share good practice throughout the international community and promote responsible and sustainable boating. Member marinas are currently implementing a first phase of digital transformation, connecting all destinations via an online platform, and offering improved services to boaters. TransEurope Marinas managers are also active in PIANC working groups, endorsing the Working with Nature concept to help design better services in marinas.

After the General Assembly, EBI President Jean-Pierre Goudant commented: “We are proud of having successfully brought our key messages into the work of the EU institutions on the issues that count for our industry. The recreational boating sector is seen as a trusted partner on key topics and we look forward to building on this in 2021. As EBI, we are also delighted to further grow our membership and welcome two new sustaining members. EMCI Register and TransEurope Marinas offer very important perspectives that we look forward to bringing into our work.”

Following the approval as sustaining member of EBI, Chairman of EMCI Register Giel Tettelaar commented: “EMCI Register is excited to join EBI and to work together with the other members to represent the recreational craft sector on the European stage. We are not interested in sitting on the side lines and we look forward to actively assisting EBI in its activities to assist the sector.”

 On being accepted as sustaining member of EBI, Melanie Symes from TransEurope Marinas said: “We have been tremendously impressed with EBI’s trajectory over the last year, showing leadership in addressing current industry concerns and making significant progress towards representing nautical tourism interests at government level. As an international marine network, TransEurope Marinas is firmly in favour of collaborative alliances that help grow this sector in line with sustainable values. We very much look forward to working with Philip and the team.”

Monday, 01 February 2021

In December 2020, EBI, ICOMIA and NMMA sent a joint letter to President-elect Joe Biden, urging the new administration to remove the steel and aluminium tariffs introduced by the previous US government, which had spurred retaliatory action from the EU and which had impacted the recreational boating industry. The letter congratulated the President-Elect on his election, while highlighting the key issues for the recreational boating industry in trade policy: the importance of EU-US trade in the industry, the importance of SMEs, and the need to remove the steel and aluminium tariffs, which would lead to the removal of the EU’s retaliatory tariffs.

The letter also addressed future perspectives on how to facilitate trade, such as through reducing technical barriers to trade, regulatory conformity, standards harmonisation and mutual recognition.

As previously reported, the European Commission expects the new US Administration to remove the steel and aluminium tariffs. This will also lead to the EU removing its retaliatory tariffs (including on US boats).

Monday, 01 February 2021

The recreational boating industry relies on the health of our seas. That is why EBI is strongly committed to reducing marine pollution and raising awareness among boaters and the general public. The SeaCleaners, created by the sailor and ecologist Yvan Bourgnon, is a natural partner to EBI, given its commitments to awareness-raising, biodiversity protection, plastic waste collection and scientific observation. Under the new partnership based on a Memorandum of Understanding, both organisations will promote common activities.

Within the framework of this collaboration, The SeaCleaners, which has made prevention and awareness a major focus of its action against plastic pollution, will develop and distribute educational tools, such as a "plastic waste collection manual". This booklet will be distributed to boaters to encourage them to take action against this scourge, which has a deadly impact on marine biodiversity and contaminates coastal waters as well as the high seas.

The SeaCleaners' scientific teams will also work with EBI to develop best practices. Companies and boaters will be invited to participate in The SeaCleaners' Voluntary Observer Programme. As part of this programme, they will carry out observation missions of floating plastic pollution in the areas of the world most affected by this phenomenon. The observations will be processed, analysed and used to create a reference database on global plastic pollution. This will improve the relevance of public policy, on land or at sea, aimed at reducing plastic pollution and protecting marine biodiversity.

Finally, companies in the boat building and equipment manufacturing sector will be offered the opportunity to contribute to the construction and fitting-out of the Manta, a pioneering solution for collecting and recovering floating plastic macro-waste that will be launched in 2024. The Manta will be the first deep-sea vessel capable of collecting and mass treating floating oceanic waste before it breaks up and enters the marine ecosystem in a sustainable manner, thanks to its on-board plant.

Joint advocacy and communication actions aimed at supporting European institutions in their initiatives to reduce marine litter and transition to a circular economy will also be implemented.

Jean-Pierre Goudant, President of EBI explains: "The European Union has estimated the cost of environmental damage caused by plastic pollution in Europe to be 22 billion euros up to 2030. We are convinced that all maritime actors must make a determined commitment against plastic pollution. Through our collaboration with the NGO The SeaCleaners, we are proud to take another step forward by supporting a great project and giving the industry access to concrete resources to act.

Yvan Bourgnon, president and founder of The SeaCleaners adds: "Plastic pollution is a major ecological threat on a global scale. There is an urgent need to act on all fronts, both preventively and curatively. And all actors have a duty to take the necessary measures to contribute to this fight. We are infinitely proud that European Boating Industry, a major player in the European maritime sector, is positioning itself so firmly at the forefront of the fight alongside us.”

For more information about the partnership, please click here.

Monday, 01 February 2021

The EU and China have agreed in principle to a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). The agreement aims to balance the economic relationship between both parties, given that the EU market has always been more open to Chinese investment than the Chinese market has been to EU investment. It will ensure a better level playing field, which the Commission says will give European businesses a boost and will help them compete in China.

China has made market access commitments in a wide range of sectors, including the manufacturing, which is the most important sector of EU investment in China. In these areas, China will not be able to prohibit market access or introduce new discriminatory practices. Specifically, the agreement sets rules on state-owned enterprises, on the transparency of subsidies, and against forced technology transfers. It will also be easier for EU companies to obtain authorisations and complete administrative procedures, and they will now be able to access China’s standard setting bodies.

The agreement also contains provisions on sustainable development, whereby China commits to not lowering environmental and labour standards in order to attract investment. Other Chinese commitments include respecting international obligations, promoting responsible business conducts by Chinese companies, or implementing the Paris Agreement, among other things.

The agreement reached in principle is just the first step in the process, since now the text must be legally reviewed and then ratified by the EU legislative authorities (the European Parliament and the Council of the EU). More information on the agreement can be found here.

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