Please select your home edition
MBW newsletters (top)

Hong Kong Leisure Marine Industry Hit Hard by COVID-19

by HKBIA 31 Mar 20:22 PDT
Hong Kong Boating Industry Association, Council 2019-2020 © Guy Nowell

Leisure Marine in Hong Kong is under an existential threat. Viewed for far too long as a luxury business undeserving of Government consideration, leisure marine has survived and thrived regardless. Today, boating, like any other service industry, employs a wide range of people and professionals, from the ex-fishermen who are now Captains and crew of yachts to the marine professionals who service and repair these craft.

A survey of Hong Kong's leisure marine businesses, members of the Hong Kong Boating Industry Association, the HKBIA, attracted a large and powerful response from the multifaceted membership, most of whom are SMEs.

Each of the 8 industry sectors reported severe impacts on their businesses:

63% of respondents reported a significant impact, and the remaining third reported a moderate effect.

67% have direct business with China, and 82% of those have seen significant drops in business.

75% report significant or moderate problems caused by the cancellation of local and international boating and sailing events. All companies reported much poorer performance, with a very worrying 25% reporting a drop of 50% or more in turnover. 42% report sales decreasing by 25-50%

Investment is down: 71% of companies will reduce or cancel investment for the next 6 months.

Job losses have begun, and more are inevitable. 21% of all firms have already laid-off staff. Another 50% expect to do so soon.

25% of businesses will not last 3 months and a third for only 3-6 months. 29% of members believe that Government assistance to date has been only slightly effective. 67% believe the assistance has been of no benefit at all. Over half the membership believes there should be wider relief measures for all businesses in the leisure marine market.

From the broker who sells boats and the instructor who teaches the youth of Hong Kong to sail to the insurer who underwrites the risks, the HKBIA represents them all. This relatively young Association has 42 members and represents one of the fast-growing work-force sectors in Hong Kong. As such it deserves the recognition of the Hong Kong Government, as Hong Kong is so much more than a shipping or fishing port these days.

Hong Kong's extraordinary Harbour is the beating heart of the city, and the leisure marine industry exists to grow and develop access to the harbour and Hong Kong's spectacular and undeveloped cruising waters. This industry needs support in these trying times, and HKBIA will be presenting the findings of our membership survey to the Government and will continue to press for significant help for our membership.

The Hong Kong Boating Industry Association (HKBIA). The HKBIA is a trade association that represents all sectors of the pleasure boat industry in Hong Kong, including boat builders, brokers, yacht management, charterers and distributors, chandlers, clubs, marinas, training organisations, sail-makers, technical and professional services and specialised marine media.

Related Articles

The Industry loses a legend
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter It was with much sadness that I read the news of Ian McAndrew's passing. Ian was an industry legend who always had a positive word of encouragement when the going got tough. Our condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends. Posted on 2 Jul
An industry stalwart needs your help
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter While the state of Victoria has experienced an upturn in the number of new Covid-19 cases, the rest of Australia is looking forward to the re-opening of state borders. Meanwhile the industry is coping in the best way possible. Posted on 25 Jun
Insurance, Electronics, Promotions and Skills
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter We start with an interview. Electronics from Navico head the 'new products' section. Computer technology continues to assist boaters. Posted on 18 Jun
Coming soon: Hainan Free Trade Port
The biggest Free Trade Zone in China invites boats, boaters, and the boating industry It is often tricky in this part of the world to distinguish fluff from fibre, so it is with interest that we report the release on 01 June 2020 of a Master Plan from “Chinese authorities”, aimed at boosting the building of a Hainan Free Trade Port Posted on 18 Jun
Technology developments improve boating lifestyle
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter As we look forward to returning to normal trading conditions, the boating industry continues to utilise technology to improve the boating experience. And advancing technology plays a part in the ability to produce online webinars. Posted on 11 Jun
The boating industry is on the move upwards
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter While some state Premiers decline to open their borders, the boating industry continues to plan for the future. Positive feedback from major players indicate that the way forward is proving fruitful. Posted on 4 Jun
Industry gears up to adapt to the new norm
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter As boating industry members begin to kick start their business structures and adapt to the 'new norm', Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of and, chats with Domenic Genua of the Boating Industry Association (BIA). Posted on 28 May
Restrictions eased but state border closures go on
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter The restrictions on movement within the states continue to be relaxed but border barriers remain in place. In NSW The Boating Industry Association (BIA) today welcomed the relaxation of restrictions on recreational boating in NSW. Posted on 21 May
Restrictions eased but a long way to go
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter While the federal government have eased some restrictions on social movements including allowing ten people to gather in cafes, restaurants and hotels, we are a long way from returning to the norm, if ever. Posted on 14 May
HKBIA seeks Government support
Hong Kong marine leisure industry players hard hit by Covid-19 Hong Kong is home to the biggest concentration of pleasure boats in South East Asia, and is acknowledged as Asia's most mature leisure boating community. But for how long? Recent months of restrictions have severely affected the business of the many SMEs Posted on 14 May
MBW newsletters (top)