Another year the Kings Cup has brought the cream of the international yachting to Mallorca -renowned yacht owners, entrepreneurs and of course yachtsmen of the highest level. The event is not only a sporting competition but has an important social and economical aspect as well.
This month we have also had a chance to meet various members of the Balearic government in relation to the Organizing Committee of the Palma Boat Show and the Balearic Maritime Cluster (CMIB). These meetings have confirmed the good understanding between the administration and the nautical sector and the mutual intention to make the Palma Boat Show grow. Thats all very well, but at the national level over the past few days we have also seen how those who up until very recently demanded the elimination of the matriculation tax, now for mere party politics critizice that the process to make it a reality has been started.
The 32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre has kept the Balearic capital and the whole Mallorca at the top of the news, both when it comes to the Spanish media as well as internationally. Since the start of the competition, varios newspaper pages has been filled with the results as well as the social and economical aspects of the event. A great example of this appears on the page 10 of the El Mundo newspaper´s Balearic edition on the 31st of July, in an article that reviews the great fortunes that have participated in the regatta over the years. No doubt this is great publicity benefiting the whole nautical sector. Besides, the Kings Cup creates wealth for the economy in total. The numerous visitors that come to the event are people of high purchasing power, who enjoy the very best that our islands have to offer, and in many cases are prepared to repeat the experience. This good quality tourism that spends money both in accommodation and in complimentary services, is what the administration should stimulate, as it really has a future and contributes to the prosperity of the whole community. From AENIB we congratulate the Real Club Náutico of Palma for a job well done during the King´s Cup and for their effort to involve the local residents in the event.
Recently in a meeting of the Organizing Committee of the Palma Boat Show (in which AENIB takes an active part) we could verify first hand the willingness of the administration to strengthen the Palma Boat Show, by continuing with the same succesful format as in the last edition. In the meeting various issues were discussed, amongst them the possibility to introduce innovative elements which will help to attract a larger number of visitors and customers to the event. We experienced the same good feeling when representing the CMIB at a meeting with the Council of Economy and Competitiveness. We reiterated the economic potencial of the sector and demanded that the Government will follow up with actions to strengthen the nautical sector.
Some weeks ago the member of Parliament and the Secretary of Economic Policy of PSOE, Inmaculada Rodriguez-Piñero, accused the Popular Party (PP) of “giving benefits to the wealthy by exempting the yacht owners from taxes”, when talking about the start of the proceedings to eliminate the matriculation tax. It is a declaration that clearly contradicts her own party. On the 9th of March 2012 the Public Works Commission of the Parliament approved a motion to promote the recreational nautical activities in our country, with both PP and PSOE voting in favor. The motion was presented by the socialists and defended in their name by the member of the parliament Rafael Simancas. The objective of the motion was “the support of the representatives of the Spanish people for a very important economic and social activity, as the recreational yachting is an area of activity with extraordinary possibilities in the economic and social order and above all when it comes to the creation of jobs in our country”.
The declarations of Rodriguez-Piñero, apart from being in contradiction with the opinion of her own party, lack foundation. For one, only the companies dedicated to yacht charter would be exempt. The buyers of yachts above 8m would continue paying the tax. The situation would be the same as with car rental, an activity that is not not taxed the same way as we have been for a long time. To eliminate this tax from the charter companies leads to two things: the charter companies can increase their fleets to include bigger sizes and this way respond to the demands of the market, and the big yachts will be attracted to come to Spain, which hasn´t happened so far because of the tax. All this will benefit our islands, as 20% of the cost of the charter will stay in the area of operation, which means that our marinas, yacht clubs, restaurants, car rental companies, supply and service companies and many other type of businesses will benefit. We should not forget that the nautical tourist spends on the average more than 100€ a day, considerably more than the conventional beach tourist.