The Waypoint: News

Marina Industry fails to Embrace Technology and Move with the Times

A leading London marketing consultancy has voiced concerns that the marina industry today could be risking its future health and growth by failing to embrace new technology.

London-based, Caspia Consultancy, who attended the London Boat Show earlier this year with several of their sailing related clients, have been undertaking their own research into the industry to see how the adoption of new technology is shaping the future of marinas. It wasn’t long before MD of Caspia, Pam Vick,  felt strongly that the marina industry needed shaking up, as it seemed to have been run in the same way, unchanged, for years.

“In my discussions with a number of marinas both large and small, I was surprised to find that a lot of their management systems had been in place for 20 years or more” Vick commented. Moreover, some of these “management systems” consisted of little more than whiteboards or excel spreadsheets when there are excellent (and free!) advanced online management systems available that are easy to use and seemed to her to be “a no-brainer”. “They seemed afraid or unwilling to approach the new technology on offer in the marketplace, which offered to save them time and money – it was even created to increase revenue at the marinas and encourage more visitors”.

The London Boat Show 2011 was home to a number of innovations in the marina industry, most notably the launch of an online berth vacancy management service called The Waypoint (www.thewaypoint.com) but many are still hesitant to move with the times, claims Vick.

“There is so much resistance to change in the marina industry. Sadly, many are just not geared up to adopt new technology, even if it guaranteed to offer them a better return and more business. There needs to be a serious shake up and soon or the future survival of some marinas could seriously be at risk as they are left behind by the few who ARE currently moving with the times and embracing new technology. If the hotel industry had been this backward we’d still be ploughing through brochures and telephoning around to try to find a room for our holidays instead of simply looking up hotels online, browsing the facilities, looking at the photos, comparing prices and booking our holiday hotel immediately and securely 24/7.”