Stavros Caramondanis, President of the Cyprus Marinas Association (CMA), talks about Cyprus’ potential to become a prime luxury yacht hub in the Mediterranean and points to the impressive development of the island’s marinas, which are expected to bring high returns.
How would you assess the infrastructure of Cyprus’ marinas in comparison with those in other EU countries?Having visited various marinas around the EU, I can say that Cyprus’ marinas are among the best. They offer modern facilities, quality services, and a welcoming atmosphere. The Government and private investors have made significant investments in recent years to ensure that the marinas meet international standards and provide top-notch services but work still needs to be done to attract visitors that often choose our EU competitors, due to their more favourable tax and legal environments. Cyprus’s location and climate are among the best, making it an attractive destination for yacht owners. The marinas in Cyprus offer excellent services, including boat maintenance, repair, and fuelling, making them an ideal base for travellers. Moreover, the marinas provide access to some of the most beautiful beaches, as well as permanent or temporary residences with luxury villas on the premises, fine dining, entertainment, and other aspects that are perfect for those seeking a peaceful and luxurious retreat.
How has marina revenue grown over the last decade, both globally and in Cyprus? Marina revenue has grown significantly over the last decade, both globally and in Cyprus. According to industry reports, the global marina market was valued at around $26.6 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $30.4 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.3%. In Cyprus specifically, marina revenue has also seen substantial growth in recent years. For example, St. Raphael Marina, Limassol Marina, and Ayia Napa Marina have been significant contributors to the local economy by creating jobs and attracting high-end tourism. Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of yacht owners in Cyprus, which has led to an increase in marina revenue. Despite challenges faced by the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marina revenue is expected to continue growing in the coming years.
How do you expect the €1.2 billion development of Larnaca Port and Marina expected to enhance Cyprus’ marina ecosystem? It is a significant step forward for the growth of the sector. The project is expected to enhance Cyprus’ marina ecosystem in many ways, including improving infrastructure, increasing the capacity for large yachts and cruise ships, and creating job opportunities. The project is a great opportunity for Cyprus to strengthen its position in the marina industry, to attract more visitors, and promote tourism. I am optimistic that it will have a positive impact on the entire sector and contribute to the overall economic development of the country.
Can Cyprus become a prime Mediterranean luxury yacht hub? What needs to be done to achieve such a goal? I firmly believe that Cyprus has the potential to become a prime luxury yacht hub in the Mediterranean, thanks to its strategic location at the crossroads of three continents, its favourable climate, and rich culture. To achieve this goal, the Government needs to implement policies that are supportive of the yachting industry and promote the country’s attractiveness as a yachting destination. This includes the development of more new marinas and the expansion and upgrading of existing ones to meet international standards. In addition, and more importantly, the Government needs to create a favourable tax and legal environment for industry entrepreneurs, yacht owners, crew members, potential real estate investors, and businesses operating in the sector. This could include the introduction of tax incentives, the simplification of bureaucratic procedures related to yacht registration, licensing, and customs, and ways to offset the fuel costs of yacht owners wishing to reach the Marina.
What are the main sector trends that you expect to see over the coming years? Which marina services will continue to dominate? As demand for luxury yachting continues to grow, I expect to see a trend towards more sustainable practices and more digitalisation to cater to the needs of modern yacht owners. In terms of marina services, I anticipate that mooring and maintenance services will continue to dominate the industry, as these are the core services that yacht owners require to keep their vessels in top condition. However, I also expect to see an increase in demand for value-added services such as high-end dining and shopping experiences, as well as wellness, entertainment, and leisure facilities, including options for real estate investment in the form of timeless luxury villas. Ultimately, marinas that offer a wide range of quality services and amenities will thrive in the coming years.
What is the importance of the Limassol Boat Show? All yacht/boat shows are equally significant events for Cyprus, showcasing the island’s great potential as a premier destination for yachting and promoting the yacht and marinas industry. The Limassol Boat Show attracts a diverse audience of industry professionals and enthusiasts from around the world, providing a platform for businesses to showcase their products and services and generate meaningful interactions with existing and prospective clients. Events like the Limassol Boat Show definitely boost Cyprus’ tourism industry, highlighting the island’s strategic location, unique attractions, and favourable weather conditions all year round. Moreover, such events promote the island’s maritime industry and generate revenue for the local economy. Maritime events are essential for the country’s economic growth. At the CMA, we are all working together to achieve this. We want to see such shows across the island at all the marinas in Cyprus.