The Balearic government recently issued a decree stating that no new marina developments would be permitted for the next 15 years, which was covered in a subsequent article. With marinas in the region already costly and crowded during peak times, many are concerned by the announcement and the potential knock-on affect it will have to prices and demand.

For some in the local yachting sector, there is a worry that the Balearic government risks inhibiting the growth of the market. Patrick Reynes, CEO of the IPM Group, one of the leading nautical companies in the Balearics, however, reassures that this is not the case. “This government is very interested in promoting the reorganisation and adaptation of moorings and wants to encourage more dry standing areas in marinas with the aim of freeing up spaces to be used by other vessels,” he explains.

In order to arrive at its decision, the government initially carried out a study of the supply and demand in the Balearics at different times of the year, and following this concluded that it would be more beneficial to adapt the infrastructure that already exists. This opens up opportunity for the development of existing ports and facilities, which Reynes is optimistic about. 

“The [region] is a mature market and destination in the nautical sector, with great professionals within its facilities,” he comments. “No new marinas does not mean no more yachts. While this decision from the government relates to local ports, there is still the Port Authority that has room for growth within the ports of Palma, Alcúdia, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera. These sites all have the scope to fit more boats and more facilities.” 

While marina growth may be limited for the next 15 years, Reynes believes there are other areas in which the marina sector in the Balearics could improve. “Work needs to be done on de-seasonalising the yachting industry and stabilising yachting activity over the course of the year,” he concludes. “The problem for the Balearics is that in summer there is a great demand for berths and in winter there is less. Marinas should try to promote longer summer seasons, starting at Easter when the weather is good and ending later. In the same way, with repair and maintenance mostly done in winter, more of this activity should be done during the summer.”

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