Sunday, September 15, 2013

Letter from the president - September 2013

After a busy month of August comes the even more hectic September without giving us a moment of rest. AENIB will participate once again in the Barcelona International Boat Show, the most important event of this type on a national level. On the 20th of September the TRECVET conference will take place, in which many influential persons from both the national as well as the international nautical sector will approach an issue of great importance: the equalisation of the profesional captains qualifications in Spain, Germany and UK. When it comes to the local news, there has been a lot of controversy about the management of mooring buoys. We believe this is a topic of sufficient importance as to ask for the responsable parties to rethink their policies.

From 24th to the 29th of September one of the most important boat shows on a national level will take place in Barcelona. AENIB will share a stand with the Balearic Tourism Agency, giving information about all the associated nautical companies to those who want to visit our island, whether for business or for pleasure. You are welcome to bring us all the material you wish to exhibit at the stand. Over the recent years the Barcelona show has developed into an event equally attractive for the exhibitors as well as for the professionals and visiting public.

One of the most prestigious events of the nautical world, the Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) in Port Hercule will take place also at the end of the month. It is an important display showing the most spectacular new superyachts and attracts numerous visitors, companies and professionals. As in earlier occasions, the Balearics will be present at the show. We hope that our companies will be succesful and make a lot of useful contacts at the show.

Halfway trough the month the TRECVET conference will take place in Palma. It is an EU-financed project with an aim to standardise the course contents of the profesional qualifications on the leisure craft in Spain, Germany and UK. This conference is the presentation of the project and opens up a debate we are sure will be very productive. AENIB has been invited to participate as the representatives of the Balearic nautical sector. Also participating are the highest representatives of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), which, as you know, is one of the main organisations of the nautical sector at the european level. If you would like to participate in the conference you can do it completely free through a link to the project web page, which you can find in the “news in brief” section of this newsletter. From AENIB we encourage you all to participate and hope to see you there!

During the recent weeks various news regarding the areas reserved for mooring buoys have popped up in the local media. The last was just a couple of days ago when GOB (Grup d´Ornitologia Balear i Defensa de la Naturalesa) critized the bad management of the áreas dedicated to mooring buoys. At AENIB we have always insisted that the colonies of posidonia seagrass is a natural resource of incalculable value and should be preserved. For this reason we support the creation of specific areas for mooring buoys, but we also agree that the management of them could be improved. For one, it should be allowed to anchor in the sandy bottom of the areas where there are mooring buoys, and for the second more reasonable prices should be applied on the existing buoys. The cost for using them is prohibitive ans scares aways the visitors who want to enjoy our nature. We believe it is necessary to agree on a plan between all parties (ecologists, users of the moorings, entrepreneurs and the public administration), in line with clear principles and objectives focused on preserving our natural resources, at the same time allowing their responsable use by the sailors.

Although it seems that we have had a high occupation in the ports during the months of July and August, the nautical tourism hasn´t really taken off the ground. This is a fact that affects the whole sector and burdens our economy. In Spain we continue to have a lot of obstacles for the foreign visitors willing to enjoy our coasts, like the Matriculation Tax and the abusive mooring charges. This is highly counterproductive given that the nautical tourist, according to studies realised by the Chamber of Commerce, spends a lot more on the average per day compared to other types of tourism. Can we really let an opportunity like this pass through our hands? The way the visitors are treated in our country, they prefer to go to other places where they don´t have to pay so many taxes and charges. We are hopeful that the Matriculation Tax on charter boats will be finally eliminated, a possibility that is looking more real every day.

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