The article on page 26 of this issue (marina development update) gives some idea of the how the future is going to look for those yacht owners who have the freedom, adventurism and finances to explore new places with their boats. Its hardly surprising that so many beautiful, unspoilt but less developed cruising areas are now getting the attention of serious investors. After all they have the assurance that there will be plenty of customers for these new facilities, with the number of new builds predicted to increase again when the current economic crisis is inevitably behind us.
In another example of creative marketing the new Vilanova Grand Marina in Barcelona which is set up specifically for Superyachts, has struck a deal with Fraser Yachts to actively promote it’s newly opened facilities amongst Fraser’s substantial global client base.
At the same time the 1st Asian Superyacht Industry Conference has been confirmed and will be held in Singapore this October with the following key issues to be addressed:
* Identifying the key infrastructure required, in terms of marinas and service facilities, to support a growing amount of superyacht traffic in Asia.
* An analysis of current superyacht building capability in Asia and who these superyachts are being sold to.
* An insight into the almost unknown and stunning cruising grounds in Asia!
So, whilst the superyachting world and the billionaires that have the where-with-all to control its destiny are planning to make their playground larger, more interesting and probably more affordable...what do you think the chances are of the authorities in Spain and the Balearics waking up and smelling the coffee?
Judging by recent events it would seem that they are still in their bat caves and oblivious to the fact that many other parts of the world have sunshine and pristine crystal clear waters.
The government in Madrid threw out an opportunity to reduce or abolish the matriculation tax, without even bothering to listen to the arguments of various industry experts, or reacting to the huge decline in new Spanish yacht registrations!
Whilst locally in Mallorca price hikes of 20% on moorings and services have been levied by some marinas, and several large yachts have shown their disgust by voting with their propellors and moving permanently away from The Balearics. One of them had used Puerto Portals as its home port for over 20 years!
Perhaps somebody should look at the example of the local government in Sardinia who have recently cancelled the controversial luxury tax levied on visiting yachts.
The law meant that berthing in any Sardinian port could cost the yacht up to 15,000 euros for its sojourn.
Since the tax's introduction in 2006, the number of yachts present in Sardinian ports is said to have declined by around 50%!!
Hello...is anybody listening?!
I guess that none of the aforesaid information is of any interest to Ports de les Illes Baleares who directly manage 13 ports such as: Cala Rajada , Colònia de Sant Jordi , Pollença, Sóller, Andratx, and Portopetro.
According to them they have had 100% occupancy this summer, and have increased their revenues as a result. Mind you, their Vice President Manuel Patino does admit that they are the ports least likely to be affected by the financial crisis. Many of the boats are small, locally owned and probably paid for years ago!
But the point is, how many of them are being left to rot through lack of use. And in the case of Andratx its not too difficult to achieve maximum occupancy when half the moorings are still out of commission following last winter’s storms!
Patino also claims that 1000 extra moorings have been provided around the islands since last year, and says that the policy of providing floating pantalans for high season periods, and swinging moorings, which are bookable online for short term stays will continue.
I hear that there are divided opinions within the port authority about the floating pantalan concept. Hardly surprising, since it has yet to prove itself as a practical solution, and is highly unpopular with most users!
Speaking of Andratx again, it now seems that the port authority are proposing to re-build the sea wall into a more substantial structure, and some local residents are complaining that it won’t look very nice. Presumably they prefer to leave the antiquated pile of rocks in place and watch it get knocked down again by the next big storm...obviously they are not boat owners!
Until next month...Bates.
Please click below for the Norma Stitts column.
Gordon Bennet or should I say Gordon Brown, have we had it this year with how the great British public's hard earned dosh has been spent.... snort or should I say used even abused; from M.P’s expense claims to millions being spent by the NHS on management consultants and now the BBC’s at it. They have four training venues around the country costing the license payer mucho dinero of 45 million quid a year. So could someone explain to this mere female mortal how the use of external media training companies can be justified, especially one which has a BBC controller (who is certainly not a mere female but clearly a smart one) as its secretary. And don’t say we needed a different approach, 45 million quid and 4 venues should give you all the approach you need.
It appears that the BBC was rather bashful (in other words refused) to discuss its contract with the company; however, suffice to say the company concerned is benefiting extremely well in this recession with pre tax profits of £117,618 in 2008 apparently almost doubling its turnover in the same period to boot. And further not only does it seem the BBC are condoning this but apparently contracts to the tune of £1.2 million have been outsourced to firms owned by relatives of some executives within the BBC. I’m all for enterprise but just in case you’d forgotten this is public money .
And talking of money, lottery operator Camelot had its knuckles rapped by consumer body Which? regarding the case of a punter who purchased a winning ticket online whilst on holiday here in Mallorca which would have netted him over five grand. It appears the controversy revolves around the clarity of purchasing tickets abroad, apparently it is illegal for Britons in Spain or the United States to play the UK lottery therefore the ticket was void. Wait for this next one....... Camelot said it does warn people buying online, but cannot provide a list of countries where playing is banned...mega snort or what! So picture this up in the executive suite, “doh where’s the Isle of Wight”? “Dunno it’s an island surrounded by water so it’s gotta be abroad” Moving swiftly on...
Niece number two and friend chose Mallorca as their first holiday minus parents, what aunty hadn’t bargained for was the enthusiasm two 17year olds and a swimming pool can generate. Neighbours enjoyed back flips, somersaults and perfectly executed dives, now aunty who for obvious reasons floats incredibly well is one of life’s pool potterers. “Aunty, ANYONE can do handstands”.... (does this include baby elephants?) Push yourself down and get your legs together they squealed shaking with unconcealed laughter. Worse still, the growing audience were clearly impressed by the sheer elegance of my water spluttering technique oh and why didn’t someone tell me about the head rush! Niece number 1 arrives soon......oh gawd her last adventure was an eight hour hike up a glacier, bet she does handstands too!!