Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Letter from the president - June 2014

Now that a month has passed since the Palma Boat Show finished, it is a good moment to make a more profound evaluation. Generally, we are very satisfied with the whole event. During the days of the show the nautical sector and our companies were in the center stage, and both the general and specialized media were attentively following the event. 

The month of May has been very busy all around. While in the topic of the show, a few days ago we participated in the first meeting of the Organizing Committee since the show to start organizing next year´s event. Some weeks ago we assisted in an event  with various members of the local government and high officials of the Popular Party, where we requested work to be started on an equal VAT rate on nautical charters in Spain as in the rest of Europe. Shortly after that, the Strategic Working Group for Nautical Tourism congregated again with some positive results, which we will explain in more detail further down in this newsletter.

We can say with total conviction that the current course of Palma Boat Show is the correct one. In only two editions it has managed to recover all the splendour it had lost over the years and this is a result of the power given to the private sector to decide how the show should look like. We will never tire of reclaiming the central role of AENIB in this success, as it is based on the project presented by our association within the frame work of the Organizing Committee, a project constructed on the suggestions of our associates. This achievement has brought back the glory that the show rightfully deserves. Despite that the Organizing Committee was not given the same weight as in the previous edition, the local government has maintained the chosen path, which has resulted in one of the most successful editions in memory.

There were more exhibitors and professionals than in previous years, as well as visitors. The fact that the building work on the Moll Vell was finalized in time contributed to a more attractive and glamorous look for the whole show. The views from the lookout terrace over the show were of singular beauty, specially at the sunset.

So, the model for the show we have been searching for is consolidated: attractive for the general public and beneficial for the businesses and professionals of the sector. The success of the show depends to a great degree also on what the exhibitors can offer. We would like to praise the input of the businesses themselves this year, as they had programmed a great deal of activities and mobilized their own client base to visit the stands. We hope that the seeds sown during the show will give their fruit in due time.

Before a month was gone since the finish of the show, the Organizing Committee had a meeting on the 29th of May to take stock of the 31st edition of the show and to plan the next edition. The intention is to take the necessary measures to enable more boats to participate next year, something we believe is necessary to make the show grow. With this in mind there are plans to dredge the port in 2015 to give room for more boats. Next month another meeting of the Organizing Committee is planned to deal with this issue and to talk about future improvements. Within short we will send you by e-mail the results of the questionnaires and ask for your proposals for improvements. 

Few weeks ago we assisted in a meeting in Palma with some important members of the local government, leaders of the Popular Party and with the MEP Rosa Estarás. During the meeting, both the president Bauzá as well as Mrs Estarás emphasized  their commitment with the recreational nautical sector in our community and in the rest of the country. For our part, we expressed our gratitude for the work done so far and prompted them to continue their efforts to make  Spain comparable on all levels with our competitors. Along the same line, on behalf of AENIB we asked them to make all the necessary efforts to match the VAT on nautical charter in Spain with that in the rest of Europe. The nautical sector can not play its strategic role if it is not allowed to compete in equal conditions in Europe, this is something we have to change. As we have regional elections next year, AENIB will make a maximum effort to make all the political forces aware of the need of a strong nautical sector.

On the 21st of May the fourth meeting of the Strategic Working Group of Nautical Tourism took place. During the meeting various issues of utmost importance were discussed; to start with, the necessity to establish and define the different segments that the nautical tourism consists of. The participants were also informed of the promotions that have taken place and the ones scheduled for 2014, and of the plans for 2015. Also the announcements for subventions published by the ATB (Balearic Tourism Agency) were detailed. 

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