HISWA Holland Yachting Group announces that in the 2017-2019 period, two additional themes will be addressed in its marketing that go beyond straightforward sector promotion. They are ‘human capital’ — attracting and retaining quality yachtbuilding talent — and raising the Dutch sector’s competitiveness. Robert Wielaard reports.

HISWA Holland Yachting Group (HHYG), the Dutch lobby of superyacht makers and their suppliers, is upgrading its marketing strategy for the 2017-2019 period.

HISWA association director Geert Dijks tells SB at the HISWA in-Water Boat Show that HHYG members will retain the ‘Holland branding’ focus and its ‘Think Yachts, Think Holland’ slogan.

The industry trade association notes that Holland — a name widely used abroad, but rarely in the Netherlands — is associated with yachtbuilding quality, maritime heritage and technological innovation. “The term Holland has terrific name-recognition value,” says Dijks.

In the 2017-2019 period, two additional themes will be addressed in HHYG marketing that go beyond straightforward sector promotion and marketing.

They are ‘human capital’ — attracting and retaining quality yachtbuilding talent — and raising the Dutch sector’s competitiveness. The latter touches on creating a level playing field for Dutch yachtbuilders, notably in legal areas and labor market reforms.

Group marketing campaign

HHYG marketing director Jeroen Sirag tells SB that the beefier marketing campaign will likely be approved by the group’s members. The new strategy will be presented in a meeting in November.

“The Holland branding theme works very well for us. We’ll stick with that,” he says adding that the group is developing a 2.0 version of the marketing campaign “to continue growth and maintain our leading position”.

Sirag attributes the Dutch success to the sector’s “longstanding commitment to investing in the future” in both lean and fat years.

HHYG currently has 40 members: 15 boatbuilders and 25 suppliers. The Dutch boating industry is said to be in an upbeat mood these days.

In 2015, Dutch yards received orders for 24 superyachts. They launched 22 projects — six more than in 2014 — valued at €1.18 billion.

Following on from these numbers industry insiders see continued growth for the years ahead. In 2016, Dutch yards are expected to deliver 25 superyachts with a total length of 1,425 metres, which is almost a mile.