The unfortuntate circumstances have made the representatives of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations – ICOMIA, to have an informal online meeting via Skype conference.
It is a common practice for many businesses these days which enables partcipants to communicate with many people at the same time.
53 representatives from marine industry took part in the meeting and our representative, Mrs. Renata Marevic, was among 10 of them who gave speech at the conference.
At this first meeting there were no concrete conclusions but the representatives presented the problems that marinas, charter companies and other subjects in the marine industry have encountered in this situation.
„We had to find a way and start somewhere“, said the Croatian representative at ICOMIA, Mrs.Renata Marevic, the general manager at Marina Punat. In her speech, she pointed out the importance of keeping the connection with the sea and using boats in order not to lose the habit of sailing. Regarding the questionable summer season, Mrs. Marevic added: „ if you do not work, you will not have anything, if you do work, you will have something and you will need a vacation.“
It all depends how long this blockade will last
The speakers tried to detect main issues and find the common denominator which would be the basis for ICOMIA to come up with the proposals for the world’s governments. These instructions would serve as guidance how to help businesses to overcome the crisis.
Given the fact that the Croatian Prime Minister, Mr. Andrej Plenkovic, in his speech on March 25, announced that the recession is inevitable and that the consequences might be even worse from those in 2008 which we all remember very well, such expectations especially when they come from the head of Government definitely don’t give hope that the circumstances would change any time soon. The only difference is that after the last crisis, marinas, charter companies, entrepreneurs, private owners but also leasing companies and foreign banks learnt to be more careful. At least the majority which survived. While recession and other unfortunate economic terms threaten one part of nautical business such as charter companies and associated businesses, marines have their chance in a private users’ segment.
The destiny of each and everyone in the chain of production, tourism and trade will be determined by the upcoming tourist or rather, nautical season. Should the pandemic cease and life gets back to normal, best-case outcome is the short-term financial loss and a big life and business lesson.
Next meeting in two weeks
The ICOMIA conference brought an informal agreement on the forecast of damage this pandemic will cause. Very optimistic scenario says that life and migrations will normalize by June and that this season will continue its course in a relatively normal manner. Mild recessionary scenario says that the season is certain to fail and that the pandemic will not cease until next September when seafarers might be able to catch some of the last summer days. This scenario gives hope that marinas will survive. For charter companies, everything after June is too late. The black scenario predicts that the pandemic would last for a year or even longer. In that case it is very difficult to foresee possible consequences. The tasks which are now before ICOMIA are finding unique practice, consolidated bureaucracy and a draft proposals for the governments of member countires to issue a package of measures in order to help the marine industry survive the crisis.
It has been announced that the next meeing would take place in two weeks and in the meantime, individual boards would meet in order to discuss the issues in more detail.
Photo by: Julie Balzano / Facebook