Please select your home edition
MBW newsletters (top)

HKBIA seeks Government support to keep the leisure marine industry afloat

by Asia Yacht Press 14 May 03:29 PDT
Kwun Tong Typhoon Shelter: needs to be properly planned and managed, not left to ad hoc `private development` © Guy Nowell

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 that form the bulk of the industry in HK.

As a result of a recent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Boating Industry Association (HKBIA), members confirmed that they felt this sector was missing out on local government support that is available currently available to other service industry sectors.

In a direct approach to Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam and relevant Government departments, the HKBIA has requested more support measures for the leisure marine sector in order to help it survive until the economy shows signs of recovery.

Short term solutions being suggested are the implementation of immediate cash handouts in line with those already given to retail and restaurants (up to HKD200,000), until Government subsidies can be enacted, job retention schemes including wage subsidies for salaried employees (80% of salaries up to a cap of $14,500/month for 6 months) and self-employed persons (based on declared average monthly salary levels.). Other measures outlined to help business survive included legislated rental reductions and increasing the value limit for 100% Government Guaranteed Loans, whilst allowing existing loans to be repackaged. Most importantly would be the relaxation of the government current restrictions preventing recreational boat usage for charter, sailing and racing, and allow the self-regulation of the required safety and social distancing rules.

All well and good, especially if some of these measures come to pass: however, it’s the longer-term solutions that could really to help the industry get back on its feet. Top of the list would be the development of public marina facilities in Hong Kong to stimulate industry growth. A good place to start here would be the Kai Tak / Kwun Tong typhoon shelter, where there is plenty of space for moorings - the lack of which has severely restricted the growth of the Hong Kong leisure marine industry’s growth – and the encouragement of international events and boat shows that could be usefully accommodated in the area. Other recommendations include the easier conversion of foreign boat operators’ licenses to local licenses, and the acceptance of what are otherwise considered to be ‘internationally recognised’ licences and certificates.

Hong Kong’s coastline and surrounding waterways involve 265 islands. The expansion of existing boating facilities would allow for the development of all manner of water sports and water based recreational activities, and provide public access to what is undoubtedly Hong Kong’s greatest natural recreational asset – the sea. This, in turn, would be beneficial to Hong Kong both economically and socially.

Expanding access to typhoon shelter moorings for vessels registered and permanently berthed in Hong Kong would help to reduce the pressure that results from a current lack of moorings. It would also contribute towards a more coordinated approach to the development of boating in the Greater Bay Area: boating infrastructure connections between Macau, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Shenzhen would see leisure marine opportunities multiplied tenfold.

Environmental issues are also addressed in the long-term recommendations made by the Association, and include allocating facilities for emptying grey water holding tanks in marinas and typhoon shelters, and finding better solutions to the disposal of obsolete boats by the promotion of recycling facilities.

The leisure boating industry in Hong Kong employs thousands of professionals and tradesmen, and is one of the fastest-growing work-force sectors in the SAR. The Hong Kong Boating Industry Association is the official representative of the industry, and aims to support its members throughout this period of crisis, and keep boating afloat in the future!

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
MBW newsletters (top)