At the end of May, at the Grand Hotel in Rimini, five touristic marinas on the Adriatic coast gave life to the first Italian network of touristic harbours. The achievement happened thanks to the cooperation of the region Emilia Romagna and Marina Developments Limited (Mdl), a British association based in Southtampton (UK), counting more than ten thousand berths and managing over seventy marinas all over Europe. The signature binds together 2600 berths, 8 thousand employees for a total investment of €250 million.
Behind the agreement there is the idea that the five marinas of Cesenatico, Rimini, Cattolica, Portoverde-Misano Adriatico and Marinara (Ra) can together gain more visibility in the main international fairs, on the web and in specialized magazines. “The network of marinas in Romagna is a crucial step to reach foreign markets,” said Maurizio Melucci, the regional assessor of Tourism in Emilia Romagna, during the signature ceremony.
Nautical tourism represents a significant economic target: each boat in the harbour necessitates two or three operators; moreover, the pleasure-boat owners spend every year around €5 thousand on berthing and €6 thousand for maintenance. Moreover, by attracting pleasure-boat owners, the new network opens the doors to tourism on solid ground: wine and food experiences, arts, spas and excursions.
“We are dealing with a sector of great potential. It is responsibility of Clubs and private operators to manage resources efficiently and handle the opportunities with great initiative,” declared Mr. Melucci to Il Sole 24 Ore. The main objective of this contract is to face the Italian crisis in the boating sector and Roberto Perocchio, President of Assomarinas, the Italian association of touristic harbours, spurred regional administrative offices to intensify marketing campaigns abroad. “The current year presents us with the same difficulties of 2013. We expect the main recovery to be in 2015, when consumer credit will be established and the Government will recreate a climate of trust amongst customers”.