The global tourism industry has been growing at around 4% annually, which is pacing the associated industry growth, comprising boat and marine seats industries. Greece has been planning to grow its marine tourism with the surge in international tourists in the country. Currently, the annual tourist visits in Italy stand at 28 Mn. The privatization of Greek marinas is one of the key agendas under this plan. The year 2018 being marked as the EU-China tourism year, a significant opportunity lies ahead for the tourism industry in the region. The 4th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum involved dialogues between Italy’s Ministry of Tourism and Maritime Affairs Insular Policy. With this, the demand for boats used for sports and recreational purposes are expected to soar significantly in the coming years, promoting the growth of boat and marine seats industry over the coming years.
Resurgence in Recreational Boating Fueling the Marine Seats Demand
Recreational boating is one of the foremost leisure activities enjoyed by a large percentage of the population in North America and Europe. Middle income class population in the U.S. are the largest boating activity participants and their participation is steadily growing at a healthy rate of around 5% annually since 2009. This has been fueling the growth of boat, as well as marine seats market, in the country.
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South and South East Asia comprising India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other key countries represent high growth opportunities for the marine supply including marine seats market. This is owing to the heightening demand for the new boat in the region.
The boat customers in the region are preferring custom made boats, which is augmenting the demand for special marine seats. South Asia is abound with islands, which makes it a source for SCUBA diving as well as sport fishing. The Thailand government has also radically slashed the boat import taxes in the recent past. The recreational boating service in Thailand has also been growing at a fast pace, which has augmented the new boat and marine seat sales in the country. Thus, the expanding boating industry in South and South East Asia has been offering significant opportunities for the marine seats market in the years to come.
The overall weight of boat is one of the key factors impacting the fuel consumption. Due to which boat users are preferring lighter marine seats.
This has augmented the demand for marine seats having plastic as the primary material. Besides being lighter, plastic marine seats are also rust resistant. However, it does not mean that plastic marine seats lack comfort features. The lightweight marine seats also offer easy portability. The marine seat manufacturers are thus widening their portfolio of plastic seats. It is more important for boats manufacturers to use plastic marine seats as it significantly reduces the overall weight of the boat. Some of the ferry manufacturers have also started to prefer plastic marine seats.
Versatile Seating – One Marine Seat Multiple Utilities
The boat owners have also been preferring marine seats with multiple utilities. For instance, the demand for marine seats with storage has been increasing. Marine seats with coolers are also high in demand to store beer and other food and beverages.
Among marine seats, leaning posts are also becoming increasingly versatile as the heights for most of them can be adjusted. They are good for leaning and sitting. They also include four integrated rod holders. New leaning posts have removable backrest. The growing interest of customers for fishing have led to a surge in demand for marine seats with rod holders. Several marine seats also have drink holders and tool storage options.
Availability of Inferior Marine Seats – a Challenge for the Established Players
Although with a lower degree of impact, the marine seats industry is being impacted by the availability of products manufactured with inferior quality materials. The inferior marine seats are cheaper as compared to the branded products, but they fail to satisfy their customers for a longer period of time. This has been impacting the trust consumers, who purchase marine seats as a replacement. China is one of the suppliers of cheaper marine seats, which it caters to its domestic and the international markets. The inferior marine seats businesses are also less organized and are also mostly available on the specialty stores offering boat accessories.
Marine Seats Market – Fairly Competitive
Marine seats market is fairly competitive where moderate number of players compete for a defined customers in the form of boat manufacturers and boat owners. Besides launching new marine seats, the key players are also engaged in acquiring other businesses. For instance, LCI Industries, which was not into the business of marine seats, acquired the Marine And RV Seating Business Of Lexington, LLC in 2017. In 2016, Lippert Components acquired the furniture division of Highwater Marine LLC, comprising marine seats.
Nandini Roy Choudhury is a thought leader and subject matter expert on a range of industries, notably retail consumer goods. Her analytical skills and lucid qualitative analysis have made her an authoritative figure on this domain.