Marine Trade and Marine Tourism Symposium

Richard W. Roberts

The past month has seen our founders Richard W. Roberts and Simon White return from a fantastic Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and fly immediately to Edinburgh for the Marine Trade and Marine Tourism Symposium held at the Scottish Parliament Building.

The Symposium focused on the future of the marine tourism and marine leisure sector in Scotland and highlighted recent research by British Marine and RYA into the future of leisure boating. Ensuring the sector provides products and services that are compatible with the lifestyle, expectations and available spend of boaters, not only now, but in the years to come, is vital.

Richard was invited to make a speech during the morning of the Symposium in which he discussed the future trends and how to service them. This included highly pertinent issues of changing access to markets, the demands of modern tourism, digital impact, boat affordability and the issues that surround the ownership model.

One of the areas of Richard’s speech that evoked much discussion was the need to understand generation X, Y, Z and beyond. Embracing the new generation as our 21st century customers is critical for the industry instead of alienating them into pigeonholes such as “millennials” and “snowflakes”.

The theme for the day was about the opportunities that lie ahead - for participants, for the industry, for communities and also for the environment. It was a pleasure to be part of this extremely important discussion and amongst several well esteemed peers.

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