The National Marine Manufacturers Association’s virtual State of the Boating Industry address yesterday featured an overview of the marine market and the presentation of awards.
NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer announced that the boating industry grew 12 percent during the last year, with more than 300,000 new boats sold and 100,000 first-time buyers accounting for a 13-year high in sales.
Hugelmeyer said the marine sector accounts for $778 billion in gross economic output, supports 5.2 million jobs, and that the boating/fishing segment is a $170 billion contributor to the outdoor-recreation economy.
“The boating industry has been extremely fortunate,” he said. “For the most part, the wind has been at our back.”
As part of the program, NMMA presented the Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award to Will Keene, owner of Massachusetts-based Edson International. The award recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to the marine accessories segment through leadership, creativity and personal motivation.
In addition, 58 boat and engine manufacturers were recognized with Marine Industry Customer Satisfaction Index awards. Recipients had achieved a rating of 90 percent or higher during the last year by customers who purchased a new boat or engine.
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“Consumer expectations of products and services are dramatically increasing across all industries,” said Robert Newsome, NMMA senior vice president of operations. “In recreational boating, we collectively continue to enhance our brand, product and dealer experiences to provide exceptional customer service and quality products.”
The session included an update on boating and fishing participation and retention, and plans for the Get On Board campaign, from Stephanie Vatalaro, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.
Click here for a recording of yesterday’s proceedings.