Blog > February 2019 > Latest Early Booking Trends in Yacht Charters for leading Destinations

Latest Early Booking Trends in Yacht Charters for leading Destinations

February 11 2019 | 2 comments

Every year the tourism industry is especially curious about latest early booking trends. The experience shows that earlybird's behaviour is allowing a good estimation about how a destination will compete with other regions. In order to contribute insights for the European boat charter market, I evaluated boat reservation data of the last 3 years from 2017 until 2019. The data is based on yacht charter bookings done via the YachtSys Reservation Platform, which lists nearly 5,000 charter yachts worldwide.

In the graph below you can see the percentage of pre-bookings (in relation to whole booking volume) for leading destinations since 2017. Notice: As pre-booking we consider a charter reservation that happens at least 5 months before the travel begin.

Early Booking Trends in Yacht Charter 2017 - 2019

The bar charts show the Early Booking Trends at the end of January 2019 for the leading destinations for boat charter: Croatia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany and Turkey. End of January is an ideal due date for such an evaluation, becasue it marks the expiration of the majority of Early Booking discounts for the European summer's boat rental destinations. 

A view on the graph above reveals, that since three consecutive years, early bird bookings are slightly decreasing for Croatian and Spanish destinations, even though these are leading charter countries. For the Balearics this deficit could be expected because the customer's demand was a bit weak during summer 2018 - probably due to relative high costs compared to other Mediterranean regions. The drop of 8 % pre-booking volume for Croatia since 2017, very likely the revitalization of Greece as charter destination, was causally.

Early bird reservations for Italy were more or less constant on a level of 12 - 13% of the market volume during the last years. In a January's statistic about pre-bookings in Italy, there is missing the big potential of Italian customers, which almost never book their boats more than 3 months in advance.

Greece, by far the country with the highest share of Early Bookings (over 30%), faces in 2019 a slight decrease from 38% to 36%. Maybe this loss of earlybird potential helped to improve the trend for Turkey, which showed the first time since years a positive pre-booking tendency of + 2% (3 - 5%).

Interesting are the figures in Germany. The very positive early bird trend for the Baltic Sea and Interior waters, which was announced already by charter providers during a symposium at the BOOT in Düsseldorf, is significantly represented through the 10% bar value for 2019 (+ 7% compared to 2018). Charter company owners confirmed that the exceptional good climate during the summer 2018, encouraged boaters to book in advance, in order to get their favourite boats reserved. 

Summary: It can be stated that the early booking trend follows the tendency of the previous years 2017 and 2018 with lower demand for Spanish and Croatian yacht charter destinations. The exception are Greece, Turkey and Germany. Turkey shows increasing demand for 2019 that costed the Greek market already some charter bookings. Germany is benefiting from the sunny and dry summer of previous season.

We are all curious how the booking statistics for the leading boat rental destinations will evolve during spring and summer 2019.

February 11 2019 | 2 comments

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Daniela Creedon
I am not surprised by the results.

Having done a lot of talking with the potential clients, I was somewhat surprised to find that well established charter groups who have been chartering all over Croatia for years are going away from it and switching to other destinations. The reasons majority of them have stated relate to Croatian tourism's rip-off mentality and lack of improvement in general tourism services despite the substantial price hikes (restaurants, bars, mooring fees, etc). This unfortunately is something that the charter industry alone can do nothing about but I suppose operators on the ground can lobby local tourist organisations and bodies.

We are seeing a huge increase in interest in Italy and Turkey among the Irish chartering community.
2/19/2019 11:34:36 AM

Filip Mladin, Orvas Yachting
Hi Felix,

It was really interesting to read this article.

I am just back from the cafe where I read similar article stating that there is in general less successfull booking than in the past few years, also outlining Croatia and Spain with highest drop in results, as well as the prices. I believe that the weaker score in booking on German market (which is globally strongest emissive market) affected all of us.

According to the statistics from the newspapers article I read, results in January this year in comparison to last year were lower, and we should have at least 15% better result in February to compensate this loss. These results are for tourist sector in general, so we can't just duplicate it to the charter business. However, I believe that this is sort of guideline for all of us who work in charter industry. The time ahead of us will be very interesting and I can only hope things would develop in a better way.
2/15/2019 9:58:36 AM

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