on 14 Jan 2021
It’s been the toughest year of the millennium – but in the first Asia-Pacific Boating of 2021, we look ahead to the comeback
With all hopes on Covid-19 recovery now pinned on a vaccine – and with roll-out underway in scores of countries round the world – the marine lifestyle and travel industry is banking on a summer of renewal and rebirth, as we reveal in our January/February 2021 print edition, which is on newsstands now.
If everything goes to plan, and the world sees a staged comeback for travel and leisure, the sector’s biggest problem will be contending with pent-up demand.
The first to feel the effects of Covid recovery is certain to be the boating events industry, which has been reeling from the effects of pandemic. While other segments have simply hooked up Zoom and carried on from home, boat shows and events have had no virtual dividend.
Replacing the fun, excitement and social interaction of a boat show online is simply not a viable option. Global banks, meanwhile, are currently showing stronger balance sheets today than before the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and the onslaught of demand is likely to be felt first in Asia where response to the pandemic has been more effective and economies generally more robust.
This means that the leisure marine industry needs to be ready. At Asia-Pacific Boating we follow the trends that will define the future of marine lifestyle both from a consumer and an industry perspective. One of the strongest trends to emerge during this period has been the willingness of consumers to purchase experiences rather than assets – particularly at a time when their savings have been under stress.
Boat charter companies, already doing well even through lockdown, are poised to reap a bonanza when Covid is brought to heel, particularly those with adventure content.
In this issue, APB speaks with one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs in the field of expedition yachts Rob McCallum who told us why expedition yachts are more popular than ever and how builders are responding with new, purpose-built designs that combine fuel-efficient hull design, sturdy construction and great looks.
We also take a deep dive into the world of global expedition yachts and look at the new styles, new specifications and the new equipment that is becoming essential cargo on this growing fleet of go-anywhere yachts.
This issue also contains great features on everything from a Hong Kong drug rehab programme that operates from a yacht, to the Vega, the tall-masted mercy ship that conducts one of the longest school runs in the world delivering much-needed school and medical equipment to some of the region’s remotest communities.
In terms of superyacht spotlights, APB features the newest and the best: the new Bluegame BGX70 has just arrived in Hong Kong and the Prestige X70 is on its way – both certain to be real head-turners on Hong Kong’s increasingly popular bays and coves.
Our destination feature focuses on one of Japan’s best kept secrets, where a high-end floating ryokan called guntû plies the placid waters of the Seto Inland Sea. With 700 islands to choose from, and an inviting architect-designed wood-panelled interior, guntû is shaping up to become a classic on the regional travel bucket list.
You’ll find plenty to keep you excited in our January-February issue of Asia-Pacific Boating as the world, and the marine lifestyle industry, stand on the cusp of a great recovery.