Global Yacht Market Declined 85% in 2020 Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

By Jemima McEvoy Friday, February 26, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a record negative year for the global yacht charter industry. The market declined in value by roughly 85%, according to a new study published by Research and Markets. Though it’s not news that the yacht industry suffered amid the ongoing viral pandemic, this report quantifies the immense damage — and predicts how the future will look for this embattled industry.

A superyacht sailing in the Adriatic Sea.

Market Profile

According to the report, the global yacht charter market was worth $10.91 billion in 2019 (before the COVID-19 pandemic). Major companies operating in the market include Dream Yacht Charter, an American company; Kiriacoulis, a Greek company; Boatbookings, a French-based company; Camper & Nicholsons, a UK-based company; and TUI Marine, which encompasses two of the largest yacht charter companies in the world: Sunsail and The Moorings. These companies primarily operate in Europe and North America, though the Asia Pacific region has its own regional charter companies.

COVID-19 Business Impact on Yacht Charter Industry

Worth over $10 billion before the pandemic, the report finds that the yacht charter market shrunk in size to $1.63 billion in 2020. That is a roughly 85% decrease in value for the market. This tremendous decrease is sourced entirely to the impacts and restrictions for the year-long COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial yachts have been largely barred from operating due to the possible spread of the virus. The impact of COVID-19 on these companies is clear. Kiriacoulis Mediterranean Cruises, for example, saw its price per share fall from over $2.27 in March of last year to $1.29 per share in February of this year.

Future Projections

Despite the crippling impact of COVID-19, it’s not all bad news for the global yacht charter industry. The market is expected to rebound at a fairly rapid pace and reach pre-pandemic levels by 2022, according to the report. The market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 25.6% between 2020 and 2028, meaning many of the hard-hit companies will see steady recovery.

Geographic expansion and service enhancement will be key to the market’s restoration and growth. Furthermore, the Asia-Pacific region is projected to emerge as a crucial contributor to revenue within the next few years.

Final Takeaways

Though the report sheds new light on the massive toll of COVID-19 on the yacht charter market, it is positive news that recovery is not too far off. The market should be back in shape within the next two years and is even projected to see significant growth in the years following.

About the Author


Headshot of Jemima McEvoy

Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.

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