Marina Port Vell’s (MPV) incoming MD, Marcel Brekelmans, who assumed his position on 10 March, has spoken exclusively to about his plans for the marina, its progress and the lessons that can be applied to the hosting of superyachts from his background in luxury hotel administration.

Following a number of delays with securing permits, Brekelmans says the marina development is on course to be completed in October, with the unveiling of The Gallery Building and the marina’s restaurant. The Gallery Building, according to the new MD, is “the hub for visiting yachts and crews [and] features every amenity imaginable.” These include a ‘crew beach club’ with terrace and barbecue, a spa area, a gymnasium and a business centre.

When the ribbon is cut and the marina is fully operational it will join an ever-growing list of locations vying for the business of superyachts. This level of competition is particularly prevalent in Spain, with its plethora of marinas and the transformation of its fiscal landscape. Recent mat tax reform is, “just plain, smart monetary practice”, says Brekelmans, which will encourage healthy competition throughout the Spanish market. “I believe even the naysayers will be pleasantly surprised with the economic boon to local businesses.”

But defining one’s proposition in a crowded marketplace is paramount, and Brekelmans is pitching MPV as the high-spec destination in the Western Med. Not only is the technological level unparalleled but MPV makes Barcelona, “the biggest city in Europe with a superyacht port.” Furthermore, membership of the Barcelona Nautical Cluster Brekelmans says, offers visiting captains solutions and services “from the finest companies in the world for any issues [they] may have aboard [their] yachts.”

Nevertheless, challenges always remain when entering a market that is only blessed by modest growth. This is where Brekelmans’ background in the lucrative luxury hotel sector will, he believes, reap dividends. “Positioning a property like Marina Port Vell as a fully realised destination - with all incumbent amenities for an exacting clientele - is smart business”, he says. "Specifically, we are implementing training and development programmes on exceeding customer expectation, propelling proactive service-minded attitudes, and encouraging forward-thinking with regard to developing partnerships with both guests and business associates.”

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Marina Port Vell S.A.U.

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