The biggest challenge ever
“The consequences of the coronavirus: the state of emergency in the yacht charter market,” is the name of the comment published by German Yacht online.
It’s not the first week that the coronovirus has hit the yacht charter market in full force. Ship owners and agencies complain about the almost complete termination of the reservation, many contracts already concluded have to be rescheduled or broken.
The situation is getting worse as the season begins in the most popular among German customers in Croatia and in Mallorca. In Spain, the authorities declared a state of emergency and closed ports until April 11 – there are so far more armor transfers than cancellations. As well as in Croatia, whose government has not yet blocked the country for entry, however, upon arrival of all Germans, a two-week quarantine awaits, which makes travel almost impossible.
Another serious problem is air traffic. It is difficult to predict how easily customers will be able to purchase tickets for later dates. As soon as the crisis recedes, the travel market will not just come to life, but will begin to catch up, it is possible that airline tickets will become scarce goods.
A flurry of questions from readers daily rains down on our editorial staff: Can I cancel my reservation without penalty if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends that we refrain from traveling abroad? Should I make a second payment for a yacht? What should I do, transfer the vacation to other dates or is it better to wait and see how the situation with the virus develops?
A pandemic is a force majeure event that complicates the legal side of things. In any case, you must be in touch with the charter company. Most of them will be ready to move the reservation dates without additional payments. True, some companies still reserve the right to demand surcharges in connection with a possible increase in prices in 2021.
With the mass cancellation of reservations, another problem may arise: the charter company may simply not be able to return the money in such a volume. Ships have already been launched, places in marinas are reserved and paid, as well as insurance and staff. If the crisis captures the summer, many companies may face serious challenges.
How do company owners look to the future? Klaus Pitter of Pitter Yachting is very frank: “Of course, we all hope that the season will begin in June, but to be honest, I personally expect more in August. The problem with our industry is that, unlike industrial companies, we cannot compensate for the loss of additional work after the crisis. Those weeks that we will lose in the spring and early summer will be really lost. ”
But there is a positive outlook. For example, there is an opinion that after the crisis, yachting as an individual form of tourism will gain additional attractiveness in the eyes of customers, unlike cruises, where hundreds of passengers were quarantined for a long time on board ships.
For the yacht charter market, the coming months will be the biggest test in its history. When will the season begin? When will the ban on movement be lifted? When will the number of infected people begin to decline? When does business normalize? Can the state quickly and without bureaucracy help with loans and grants? In France, it was necessary to limit the rights of customers in order to support the tourism industry. Presumably in Germany, too, there is talk of such measures. Whatever it was, but the next 2-3 months will be for many companies a real test of strength.
139 Today # 10018