By David Robinson

As of September 2014, Italy had some 85,646 marina berths in build or planned. These figures were made known in a presentation to the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum held in Athens last week by Roberto Perocchio, managing director of Venezia Terminal Passengeri SpA and president of Assomarinas, the Italian marinas body.

Of the total, 17,310 berths were inaugurated over the last six years, according to statistics shown by Perocchio. These include three locations where over 1,000 extra berths were developed. There were respectively 1,200 berths at Marina di Stabia; 1,077 at Puerto Turistico Santa Teresa in Salerno; and 1,000 berths at Marina di Arechi, also in Salerno.

A further 22,650 are under construction and seven regions of Italy each have over 1,000 extra berths in build. Some 17,669 berths were accounted for by these seven regions involving 38 marinas. The biggest number by region was 4,210 berths in Regione Sicilia, followed by six marinas and 3,179 berths in Regione Lazio.

In respect of the 45,686 recently planned berths, seven Italian regions account for 32,341 berths located at 68 marinas. The largest region is Regione Sicilia with 8,066 planned berths at 17 marinas. Regione Toscana came next with 5,800 berths at eight marinas and Regione Puglia accounts for 5,310 berths at 13 marinas.

Perocchio pointed to the fact that, since 2011, when a luxury tax was introduced, nearly 40,000 boats have disappeared from Italy. Also because of the tax and the global financial crisis, boat sales since 2008 have fallen by 90%. A further 7,000 yachts, on average, are deleted from Italy’s boat park through age.

He then told delegates how the yachting industry had responded to these situations and successfully secured new regulations from the Italian government. These include:

– a reduction of the luxury tax on yachts up to 14m (46ft) in length
–  the possibility of renting occasionally (for a maximum of 42 days per year) private yachts with a flat tax rate of 20%, in order to make boat maintenance more sustainable for owners
– creation of a national ‘electronic’ yacht register, in order to avoid the need of doubling police controls on yachts and speed up all procedures
– creation of the new ‘marina resort’ category to qualify marinas as ‘floating open-air resorts’, with a consequent VAT reduction on mooring services for tourists sleeping on board (valid until the end of 2015).