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Click & Boat, Europe's leading boat hire platform, opens a new office in Marseille

by Click&Boat 24 May 2019 17:00 BST
The Click&Boat team © Jean-Louis Carli

Click&Boat, a leading boat hire platform that has been dubbed 'Airbnb of the seas' by CNN, has opened this spring an office in Marseille. Setting up an outpost in South France comes on the back of rapid expansion in the rest of Europe and will help the Paris-based company sustain its solid growth rates in terms of bookings and listings. For this purpose, Click&Boat will hire over the next few months more than 50 new employees from all over the world, including the UK, the US and other countries. More offices may be launched in key markets such as the UK, Italy and Spain over the next few years, while the company has also recently opened a new office in Miami, Florida.

Global expansion, a key target for the boat hire platform

The company's new office in Marseille is the first part of a plan to consolidate its leading position in the European boating market. Being closer to a big number of boat owners and renters, including many UK yacht charter companies, that operate in the French Riviera, is a key priority for the firm. Edouard Gorioux, Click&Boat co-founder, said: "An office in Marseille is a no-brainer for us, as it brings us closer to some of our key markets. But it's only the first step towards further development in other markets where there is increasing interest in boating, such as the UK. We are literally testing the waters!"

Expansion in other markets beyond France has been a key part of the firm's strategy since its launch five years ago. Seventy per cent of sailing enthusiasts who have already hired a boat via Click&Boat's platform are based outside of France, mainly in Europe and North America, while 8% are UK residents. In 2018, the boat hire platform achieved an increase of 189% in international bookings, made by non-French residents.

Global expansion requires an international team. Currently, 60% of the company's staff are international (ie not French), hailing from a wide range of countries such as the UK, the US, Poland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Croatia, Russia, Greece, the Netherlands, India, Brazil and Argentina. Many of them are sailing fans themselves and hold boating qualifications.

Marseille, a key boating hub in the Med

For a leading boat hire company based in Europe, Marseille is an attractive city to set up an office. This French metropolis is a major boating hub in the Mediterranean, attracting approximately 5m visitors per year. Due to its strategic location, it links some of Europe's biggest yachting markets: the French Riviera, the Balearic Islands (incl Ibiza and Mallorca), Costa Brava, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, and Tuscany, all particularly popular among UK sailing enthusiasts. In 2018 Click&Boat saw an increase of 140% in bookings by British renters in the French Riviera and by 150% and 275% in Costa Brava and the Balearics respectively. In the same year bookings by UK renters in the islands of Corsica and Sardinia increased by 188% and 156% respectively.

Marseille is a key market for Click&Boat, boasting a big number of boat owners and yacht charter companies, as well as a great sailing tradition. Currently, the boat hire platform has more than 500 boats listed in the city. The company aims to benefit from the city's immense talent pool, as Marseille is home to prestigious universities and business schools. The company's new office, just a stone's throw from the city's old port, will be staffed by 20 new employees in the forthcoming summer season, rising to 50 by the end of the year.

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