Italy was the first western country to battle coronavirus, and while this has significantly hurt the country, there is a growing confidence from within, due to the fact it is among the first countries to begin to slow the upward curve of fatalities. Having witnessed people leaving the country, yachts moving abroad and leaving marinas, there may now be a sign of light at the end of the tunnel.
Located in the Gulf of La Spezia, Porto Mirabello has remained open throughout the lockdown, allowing the company to continue with its traditional wintering support of clients and nautical stakeholders. All staff are equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment, and the company continues to provide fundamental services such as 24-hour active surveillance, administrative offices, a functioning reception, and in case of emergency, the shipyard is also operational.
With crews living on board but who are suffering restrictions on movement, their needs must be met, and Porto Mirabello is doing so by providing, for example, food deliveries. In a recent conversation with SuperyachtNews, we asked Porto Mirabello founder and CEO Alessandro Menozzi if it was a difficult decision to keep Porto Mirabello open. “I did not have to think about it, not even for a second. I had no doubt about sticking to my commitments. When you have a commitment, you have to be consistent, for better or worse. Keeping the marina open implies big costs but my focus is giving my clients what they need, and they expect from me,” he explained.
"I had no doubt about sticking to my commitments. When you have a commitment, you have to be consistent, for better or worse..." - Alessandro Menozzi, Founder and CEO - Porto Mirabello
Porto Mirabello has recently reported witnessing the first signs of market recovery, receiving berth requests, in particular from charter companies that must decide where their yachts will sail once this crisis is over, accompanied by confident signals from Middle Eastern and Russian clients. “It is still too early to make any assumptions, but I can confirm that our effort is also recognised by our current clients, who have decided to extend their stay and signed multi-year contracts,” added Menozzi. “We are optimistic about the evolving situation and we really think that Italy will be the first European country to get out from this emergency."
As many countries have not yet felt the full effects of coronavirus, there is the potential that many destinations who can be fully operational sooner than others will see an increase in charter bookings due to people re-routing. “We are certainly optimistic and hopeful, since the virus contamination is now decreasing in Italy. Regarding charters, the trend is still not clear as a great number of them have been cancelled because of the virus, and this does not depend only on us.
“We have a lot of medium- to large-size yacht owners [80m – 100m] who have already asked for [a] berth and ensured they will come to the marina as soon as they can move.
I found out… that several Italian and foreign owners look forward to returning by boat to Porto Mirabello and the amazing surroundings. This is really important for us, since we are not a seasonal port but a real home port, whose services are guaranteed at 360 degrees for the whole year."
As stated by a representative from Porto Mirabello, the impact of this unprecedented experience must leave us with a new awareness within our industry. A superyacht is becoming increasingly perceived as a private, intimate and safe space, where safety and protection can be found, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
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