The HISWA Holland Yachting Group has announced it dissolution, after earlier celebrating its 50th anniversary as the representative body for the Dutch yachting industry.
Announcing the news, outgoing Export Director, Jeroen Sirag issued the following statement to the media:
“Today, the Dutch superyacht sector delivers an average of 18 yachts per year with an average price tag of €86 million and total value of some €1.5 billion. Last year, the sector received 19 new orders and had 60 yachts under construction, 13 of which measuring over 80 metres in length. With a rise from 18% to 30% in deliveries market share, the position of the Dutch superyacht sector has never been so strong.
“After a successful 50th anniversary year, we remain proud of how we have brought together supply and demand across the world for our members and partners. Specifically, I am also very grateful for your support and the trust you have placed in me over the years. I feel privileged to have worked with you on achieving such fine results and sharing unique experiences. Thank you!”
This sad news, from an organisation that has traditionally been viewed as a flagbearer for the hugely collaborative and multifaceted Dutch industry, was nothing if not a surprise. And its revelation got me thinking about the role of national bodies, and how that will evolve in the future.
I am a member of the Superyacht UK executive committee, which is comprised of a spectrum of industry professionals and acts as a steering committee for the UK’s national body. And we convened for our quarterly meeting, just last week. So I am acutely aware of the work of such organisations.
While I cannot divulge the specifics of our conversation, we are always looking at how we can add value for our members. And that usually triggers a deeper, ontological question, around what ‘value’ actually is.
For me, it is about connecting people – connecting them to other business, other geographical markets, and ultimately, the end users. That is the fundamental purpose of a national representative body - to further the commercial interests of their members through connectivity.
Luckily, in the case of Superyacht UK we are heavily scrutinising our value proposition. And this is essential in the face of an evermore cynical marketing paradigm, where ROI is the key metric by which spend is measured.
But it does require dialogue with the members about what value represents to them, and how their commercial interests can be better furthered by collective representation than by going solo.
Sadly, it has come too late for HISWA – an organisation, I have respected over the years – but I still believe in the concept of collective representation, and firmly believe it has a place within the private sphere.
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