INDUSTRY: Dive boats face uncertain future due to coronavirus pandemic

Government financial support may not save struggling charter operators

Author: Pat
25th April 2020

Dive charter boat

There’s growing concern that the charter boat industry will not survive the COVID-19 pandemic, due to a lack of government support.

Most boat owners operate as limited companies, but with no designated premises, meaning they are outside business rate relief and unlikely to qualify for central funds.

Although there are growing calls for help for the commercial fishing industry, so far there appears to be nothing for the equivalent charter boat trade.

A report in the Dorset Echo estimated the charter boats local to that region bring in approximately £2million of revenue annually.

Most charter boats available for scuba diving, sea angling and tourism face the entire summer season moored up, with no income and fixed overheads that could be potentially ruinous.


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