The main representatives of the Balearic nautical sector have expressed their unanimous support for the Unimarina project, a GDS (Global Distribution System) of the ports and marinas jointly developed by Travelport and the Majorcan company Portbooker. According to the persons in charge, the platform "represents the future" in the management of the worldwide marine installations, by concentrating all online operations related to their services, and it confirms the leading role of the Balearic Islands in the field of technological innovation in the tourism sector.
The president of the Balearic Port Authority (APB), Alberto Pons, the director of the Ports of the Balearic Islands (Ports IB), David Gómez, the director of APB, Juan Carlos Plaza, and the president of the Association of the Marinas and Nautical Installations of the Balearic Islands (ANADE), Cristina Mari, had a meeting today with the executive members of the expert committee of Unimarina, the instigators of the project, who have come to Palma to finalize the details of the official presentation of this platform of global distribution of nautical services, which will take place during the next edition of the Palma Boat Show.
The president of the Balearic Port Authority, Alberto Pons, highlighted "the huge potential for technological development that exists on the islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, applied to the Balearic nautical sector" and expressed his conviction that "the new system for the marina reservations outlined by Unimarina will be the standard in the near future". For Pons, the fact that a Majorcan company is innovating in this area is extremely important, as the project "inevitably sets the pace within the nautical industry, as today everything is managed through internet".
Along the same lines, the director of the Balearic Ports (Ports IB), David Gómez, emphasized the importance of Ports IB to collaborate with the rest of the sector "to be able to sell the unique resources of the Balearics with a unified image". According to David Gómez, "in the Balearics we understand that a system very similar to the one used in the aviation industry can put us on the world map, not only in the nautical sector, but also in the technological sector".
For her part, the president of ANADE, Cristina Mari, shares the idea that Unimarina "is the future" of the sector and "means a giant step and a new way to work, very different to what we are used to. However, we will have to adapt, and if we have an opportunity to collaborate and participate from the start, the transition will be easier". Mari appreciated the fact that a Majorcan company is in charge of the project. "The Balearic Islands are nominally the market leaders in the tourism sector for various reasons, like the geographical location or the climate, now is the moment to take the leadership also in actions like what the Portbooker is proposing, to make a gain on the rest with a totally innovative and global project".
The person in charge of the state-owned company for the Management of the Tourism Innovation and Technologies (Segittur), Carlos Romero, emphasized for his part the good reception of the initiative outlined by the grouping from one of the few tourism sectors still to be regulated, and which has a great online marketing potential". Romero explained that there is a "great opportunity for Unimarina to be a worldwide reference when it comes to standardization of the recreational nautical services. The aviation industry went this route fifteen years ago, followed by the hotel industry ten years ago, and now it is time for this segment to follow suit".
Amongst the members of the Unimarina expert committee that came to the meeting were: Bruno Meier, Gary Groenewold, Jean-Michel Gaigne, Jeffrey d´Albora, Kenny Jones, Mick Bettesworth, YP Loke and Oscar Siches. All of them members of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations ICOMIA. In the meeting participated also Jorge Velasco, the co-founder and CEO of Portbooker, and Pedro Anguera from Travelport.
UNIMARINA (GDS-Marinas), as this powerful tool has been baptized, signifies a real revolution in the online bookings of the ports and marinas, the same way as the first GDS related to to the airports and airlines (Amadeus, Sabre, Galileo, Wordspan) did in the 70´s, and which were the origin of the global aviation regulator IATA. Unimarina is the nautical equivalent of this technological innovation.
The project, which has the support of the State Company for the Management of the Tourism Innovation and Technologies (Segittur), has registered a standard coding for the more than 8.600 ports and marinas in the world following the example of the aviation industry. In the 70´s the airports got their standardized codes (Palma - PMI, Barcelona - BCN, Atenas, ATH) which favored the exponential increase of passengers and and cargo business.
The standard code for the ports is a result of the following combination:
The ISO code of the country + regional nautical Unimarina-code + code of the port
For example: ES11ADR (ES; the ISO code of Spain, 11; the regional nautical code designated to Mallorca, ADR; initials that correspond to Port Adriano).
This international codification has also allowed to develop a communication protocol according to the rules of the business and the quality guidelines established by the sector itself. This guarantees an easy, fast and secure online transaction for the client when booking ahead either transient or long term moorings, making charter reservations, looking for a new boat, booking refit or maintenance services, selling or buying boats and transporting vessels (freight and boat listings), amongst others.
News provided by Hosteltur.