Published on: 09 May 2019
Ahead of the boating season, nearly 100 marina professionals gathered in Bournemouth to share knowledge, learn and network at British Marine Marina Conference, sponsored by Walcon.
The Conference was opened by Tony Dye, Certified Marina Manager (CMM) and Vice Chair of the UK & Europe GMi Group, followed by keynote speaker Ben Martin.
Ben gave a fascinating and thought-provoking presentation on the future marina customer. He discussed how technological changes will inevitably have a significant impact on the way we conduct our lives and spend our leisure time. He provided numerous examples of the disruptive world we live in and how people are seeking multiple experiences to fulfil their leisure time ambitions. Ben’s opening speech set the tone for the two days of the Conference with delegates debating new ways of attracting potential boaters into marinas and reflecting on operational, environmental, legislative and crisis management issues.
Following an inspiring first day The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) proudly presented the 2018/19 Marina of the Year Awards to UK and international marinas with winners travelling from as far as Turkey to receive their trophies.
After dinner, TV presenter, adventurer and marine biologist, Monty Halls, delivered an engaging speech concluding the first day.
Day two was also opened with Monty Halls who challenged marina operators to recognise that they are the gatekeepers to the natural world and marinas are perfectly placed to encourage newcomers to the water. He continued that as “custodians of the natural world” the industry provides a wonderful opportunity for future generations.
Jon White, TYHA General Manger, commented: “My biggest takeaway from the Conference was the willingness of delegates to share their learnings about customer habits and new ways of attracting people onto the water. Through collectively sharing experiences we will be able to evolve marinas into boating hubs for a much broader cross section of society whilst developing new income streams into our marina ecosystems. In summary, my message to all members is to share what you learn to the benefit of the entire marina industry.”