By David Young
The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference took place at Istanbul’s Swissôtel The Bosphorous, in early June and delivered a two-day programme of plenary and breakout sessions with delegates attending presentations of their choice.
Hosted by the Turkish Marine Industry Association (DENTUR), the 8th event in the series was entitled ‘Marinas into the Future’ and was the first to be organised in partnership with Amsterdam RAI, which features a Marina Pavilion in its annual Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS). Its involvement was apparent in the faultless timing of the conference sessions and the well-planned exhibition area for marina equipment suppliers.
The 225 delegates were welcomed by Alpaslan Sirkecioğlu of DENTUR and Cemalettin Şevli, general director of the Turkish Maritime and Inland Waters Directorate. Both highlighted the promising marina environment in Turkey, which currently has some 15,000 berths with plans to double this number in the coming years.
The opening ceremony also featured ICOMIA Secretary-General Tony Rice and Roberto Perocchio, chairman of the ICOMIA Marinas Group. In their speeches, they provided an insight into the latest trends and developments in the marina industry. In addition, Roberto Perocchio lead a panel that focused on design for superyacht facilities.
The marina industry is reportedly moving at a slow pace, but steady growth in the number of available berths worldwide. An increase of 114,000 berths (5%) is expected over the coming decade, with Russia, China and South Korea leading the way in the construction of new marinas.
A sessions entitled ‘Investigating the current state of the global marina industry’, showcased the fact that the US market is starting to grow as the global recession comes to an end and there is a renewed demand for new boats, especially small and fast ones. This trend is also expected to be replicated in Europe, while the market for yachts of more than 25 metres is growing worldwide.
Since the first event in 1993, the ICOMIA marinas conference has taken place every three years. However, the next event will be hosted by the Brazilian Marine Industry Association (ACOBAR) in co-operation with Amsterdam RAI at Rio de Janeiro in April, 2016.