As consumer travel surges on a tide of pent-up demand, NauticEd has reported an increase in vacation yacht bookings almost 10 times greater than 2020 and 38% greater than pre-COVID years. It is also seeing a 30% increase in online course enrollments over 2020 figures.
“As travelers re-emerge, many new customers are telling us that being stuck at home inspired them to try something they’ve fantasized for years: escaping on a luxury sailboat with their family and learning how to sail," said Grant Headifen, NauticEd founder and global director of education. "In fact, 43% of our new students surveyed said their desire was to skipper a yacht on a sailing vacation or adventure.”
NauticEd’s increase in its vacation yacht bookings over pre-COVID years mirrors the overall increase in U.S. travel bookings of the past two months. Consumers, emboldened by recent CDC data that shows nearly 50% of the U.S. population has received one vaccination shot or more, are primed for adventure.
According to a survey conducted by Destination Analysts, as of Memorial Day the number of Americans concerned about contracting the coronavirus, the pandemic’s impact on personal finances, as well as the national economy hit historic lows. The percentage of those sharing the perception of travel and leisure activities as unsafe was cut in half compared to the beginning of the year.
“As a travel and outdoor recreational activity, sailing is on fire right now and the demand is the strongest we’ve seen in a decade,” said Headifen. “We are thrilled to report a fresh surge of novice sailors and newcomers are embracing the lifestyle, while the sailing faithful are enthusiastically returning to inquire about yacht charters again.”
NauticEd has provided over sailing education 250,000 courses, including a mix of both virtual and live instruction, since its founding in 2008. Besides the uptick in vacation yacht bookings, NauticEd’s 30% increase in online educational course enrollments not only demonstrates a growing demand for boating and sailing education, but a new trend in how people choose to learn.
“We have beginners wanting to become a competent crew member, intermediate sailors looking to sharpen their skills and advanced sailors wanting to circumnavigate the globe," said Headifen. "Our online curriculum allows them to get underway immediately in their own personalized learning process before syncing with a NauticEd accredited sailing school.”