ARE THE EAST MEDITERRANEAN DESTINATIONS RISING IN DEMAND?
By: Beatrice Chiardi
29th June, 2022
The Mediterranean has always been one of the main destinations for both yachts and superyachts. Related to this thesis, the European Committee for Professional Yachting started to analyze the main cruising trends between 2015-2021. In this study, every major yachting country in the Med has been analyzed, taking into consideration the trends, objective attractiveness, and general popularity of the various superyacht hubs in the region.
The study concluded by stating that the Med is performing very well, despite the COVID-19 regulations. In fact, the Med Yachting indicator is growing at 13.5 per cent every year. In addition, we can say that the Eastern Med appears to be performing extremely efficiently, mainly in countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Croatia. However, it is suggested that France and Monaco will need to summon up some resilience to counter the increasing social, fiscal and environmental regulations. But at the heart of this analysis, beneath all of the complicated graphs and fancy terminology, lies one important question – Where is yachting heading? Are the East destinations the most demanded ones?
The yachts over 24m spent a total of 23 million hours in the Mediterranean in 2021 alone, but it was the start of the pandemic that really affected the yacht market. The year 2020 is clearly marked by a very significant decrease in the presence of yachts in the Mediterranean, due to the implementation of regulations and sanitary measures taken against COVID.
The important results appear to be related to the analysis of the average length of stopovers per country for 2021. This information can be characterized by two extremes – Monaco, where the stopovers are long (75 hours) but few in number (<10,000), and Turkey, where the average length of stopover is lower but higher in numbers.
In relation to the amount of time being spent in ports, yards, and anchorages over the 6-year period, let’s see some of the changes:
-Italy overtook France at some point between 2017 and 2018 (supposedly due to the increase of regulations in France)
-Greece overtook both Spain and Turkey in 2021
-Croatia overtook Monaco after a long trend of differentiated growth
-Montenegro maintained its usual ranking after a dip in form during the height of the pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, Italy – representing the beating heart of the superyacht industry, is the most promising country concerning maritime destinations, homeports, and shipyards (both new build and refit). Yachting represents a major industry in Italy that even a pandemic with the related restrictions did not stop its growth.
Monaco and France combined are still the leading destinations when you look at it from the perspective of volume. However, Croatia, Greece and Turkey are the new destinations where clients are spending their summer holidays.
The Western Mediterranean still represents the core business of the yachting industry, where most clients go for homeporting / wintering, refit work, and recruitment. However, it is now the dynamic Eastern Med where all the action is happening and where clients are spending the summer on board their yacht (both yacht owners and charterers).
The East Mediterranean is significantly increasing its touristic affluence of HNWI, being one of the top destinations when it comes to charter. Furthermore, clue events will help this area to develop more and more. In fact, the America’s Cup race will probably boost the migratory statistics of Spain for that year and it may consequently bring more clients to visit Greece.
In the Western Med there is an abundance of iconic events and attractions, where there is the continuous need of supplying the demand rather than needing to lure even more superyacht owners. This said, the concern lies in the relatively near future and will depend on whether countries in the Western Med can develop new solutions, such as renovating the existing infrastructures, and develop a more client-oriented hospitality service.