January 17th 2020

Press release
Sea Tourism Summit
Navigating a sea of opportunities

January 17th 2020, Düsseldorf

Official host: boot Düsseldorf

Damir Davidovic
, secretary of state, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Montenegro
Damir Davidovic, secretary general of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism in Montenegro, described the opportunities offered by his country in the maritime tourism sector. Mr Davidovic presented a number of projects related to marinas and referred to their advantages such as proximity to the international airport. He also underlined the contribution of maritime tourism to the national economy through the creation of new jobs.

 Bujar Nishani, former president of Albania  
"For our region to develop, we need security and for security to strengthen, we need development," said the former Albanian President Bujar Nishani. He stated that his country is a new Mediterranean destination for Europe and stressed that mainstream tourists visit Albania during the summer months, spending one to two weeks at the beach. He also referred to the rich archaeological and cultural heritage of his country that may generate tourist interest.

Jean-Pierre Goudant, President, European Boating Industry
The danger of a global economic slowdown and the growing need to protect the environment due to the impact of climate change shape the development of maritime tourism in this context, according to Jean-Pierre Goudant, President of the European Boating Industry. Describing the size of the European market, he spoke of 10,000 marinas, 6 million vessels and 28 billion euros in revenues.

Andrea Razeto, President of ICOMIA
"ICOMIA promotes affordability of boating as middle class activity, access to water and broadening the offering available from marine leisure related infrastructure," stressed Andrea Razeto, President of ICOMIA. According to certain data that he presented, marinas create one direct job for every 25 anchorages and one indirect job for every 4 anchorages. He opposed to the sector being taxed as a luxury market, expressing the view that maintaining and increasing business would generate more revenue for the state.

Robert Marx, President of BVWW
“Boating and tourism are not the mega yachts but the huge number of smaller boats with a share of more than 80% of all boats” stressed Robert Marx, President of BVWW. "Contrary to what many people think, boating is not rich people’s business. On the contrary, if someone looks at the figures in the harbours, the towns at the seashore, the restaurants etc., these smaller boats, especially as charter boats, have a huge impact on the tourism economy, said Mr Marx, who spoke of the need for tax incentives to increase the related activities: "staying on a campsite has reduced VAT, staying in a harbor has the full VAT."

Nic Arnold, Director, United Kingdom, PwC
"Support good fiscal governance, examine the option of dynamic solutions for moving assets, look beyond VAT and focus on paying the right tax, in the right place, at the right time," noted, among others, Nic Arnold, manager of PwC UK, who analyzed the parameters of the European and global tax policies in the yacht market.

Yves Lyon - Caen, President, French Leisure Marine Industry Federation
"Does the future today look as bright as it used to in the past, given the environmental challenges?" wondered Yves Lyon – Caen, president of the French Leisure Marine Industry Federation. He pointed out that, unlike other sectors such as the automobile industry, nautical tourism starts from a much smaller customer base. In this context, he stressed that the first stage of approaching customers does not concern ownership but acquaintance with the pleasures of the sea, in order to create and strengthen a network of prospective buyers.

Massimo Perotti , Chairman & CEO, Sanlorenzo
"Market fragmentation is translated into a plethora of products and limited profits that deprive companies of the ability to invest in sectors such as the environment," concluded Massimo Perotti, Chairman & CEO of Sanlorenzo. He spoke more broadly about the need for more business flexibility, stressing that businesses should respond to the needs of future generations, which promote a new lifestyle with a greater emphasis on the environment.

Anthony Sheriff, Executive Chairman, Princess Yachts
"We need to understand what sustainable development means for maritime tourism, and the companies in the sector should be marketed in a way that is more environmentally friendly," said Antony Sheriff, Executive Chairman of Princess Yachts. "This does not mean we will stop, it means that we have to adjust," he added. Mr Sheriff also pointed out that competition is very high and that in order to stand out within this context one has to create something truly new.

Paolo Vitelli, president, Azimut Benetti Group
"The luxury world foresees a growth between 3 and 5% in the next five years: year 2020 will be at the lower end of the business and then we will grow. We must take advantage of this positive time window to better stabilize the yachting business," said Paolo Vitelli, president of Azimut Benetti Group. He described the involvement of younger generations as the secret to stabilization and further development of yachting. "They want simplicity, service, e-mail information and reservation, any sort of assistance: we must provide all that!,” he characteristically said and stressed the need to respect the environment while enjoying the sea.

John Kalogerakis, CEO, JMK Anthropocentric Corporate Training and People Development
"If I tell you that only 3% of the population in Greece live from the surrounding services of sailing and yachting sector, you may think that 3% is actually low. But if I tell you that this 3% corresponds to 360,000 people saying “thank you” every day because they have a job thanks to this activity, then that number takes on another dimension," noted John Kalogerakis, CEO of JMK Anthropocentric Corporate Training and People Development. Within this context, he gave examples of personal stories from "the people behind the numbers". He also spoke of the misleading view that only the rich have a boat, stressing that today a small boat can cost less than a car.

Petros Michelidakis, Director of Boot Düsseldorf
"The problems are here to be solved. Think about the future, take a look at the infrastructure we are creating and do business with us”, was the message sent to everyone involved in the maritime tourism market by Petros Michelidakis, director of Boot Düsseldorf. "We represent a small part of the industry, but that is not so small if you look at the impact proportionally," he noted, stressing the importance of a more intensive cooperation "for the benefit of the society, for the benefit of the people."

Robert Andrzejczyk, President, Polish Tourism Organization and vice-president, European Travel Commission
With 560 million visitors, Europe is the third largest tourist destination in the world, said Robert Andrzejczyk. President of the Polish Tourism Organization. He spoke about the need for the tourism industry to share benefits with local communities and identified PPPs as key to infrastructure development.

Kostas Axarloglou, Dean and Professor of International Business and Strategy, Alba Graduate Business School,
The American College of Greece
Kostas Axarloglou, Dean of Alba Graduate Business School described the three international trends that the business community should take into account when planning: Demographic developments (ageing population, shrinking middle class, differentiation of young generations - millennials and Z - from previous generations), the need for sustainability (challenges from the impact of development needs - see energy and water - on the environment) and state of the art (rapid digitization with mobile phones playing a key role).

Roberto Perocchio, member, PIANC RecCom
"We need to make marinas more easily designed. Some are very expensive because they are not properly designed,” suggested Roberto Perocchio member of PIANC RecCom. He pointed out that social transformation that has been taking place during the last years has produced more high wealth individuals resulting in the increase of super yacht orders internationally. He also noted that maritime tourism should take into account new technologies and market trends and emphasized that those who mainly give life to a marina are always the local customers.

Angelo Riccaboni, Chair, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Mediterranean, Chair, PRIMA - Partnership on Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area
The increased number of investors interested in more responsible forms of entrepreneurship, changes in consumers’ behaviour and saving financial and natural resources through circular economy are opportunities that can drive to a more sustainable industry, according to Angelo Riccaboni, chair of the SDSN and PRIMA agencies.

Vienna Eleuteri, founding member, initiator & vice-chair, Water Revolution Foundation
"Response strategies for a sustainable industry must be tailored to the specific sector context and cannot focus on a single approach," noted Vienna Eleuteri, founding member, initiator & vice-chair of the Water Revolution Foundation. She stressed that the global development standards, with an emphasis on scientific innovation and green technologies, along with investments in ocean protection initiatives must be at the heart of the sustainable development strategy.

Olly Hicks, Executive Director, Arksen Foundation
“I think there is much to be optimistic about; behaviours and policies in many areas are already moving in the right direction. But we must be fully awake to the challenges ahead," said Olly Hicks, executive director of Arksen Foundation. In this context, he referred to the "growing number of people eager to consume a finite natural resources", as well as the "negative impact that unregulated tourism can have on the most valuable parts of our planet".

Matteo Renzi, former Prime Minister of Italy
"It is inconceivable to allow Erdogan to decide what will happen in Libya," said Matteo Renzi, former Italian Prime Minister, referring to the latest developments in the Mediterranean.

"Europe cannot remain a mere spectator, for example, in the US-China trade war. It has to decide on the role it will play in today's international scene’’, underlined Mr Renzi.

He characteristically stated that "as soon as Europe wakes up and escapes its daily bureaucracy, creating a new vision, then populism will be immediately eliminated".

Mr Renzi also expressed the view that all of Europe needs more "energy" from the German economy, which should change its business model by limiting the role of exports.
Official host:
boot Düsseldorf
Supporting organisation: The Superyacht Group
Official sponsors: Azimut|Benetti Group, European Boating Industry (EBI), Jaguar-Land Rover, Princess Yachts,
Sanlorenzo Yachts
Academic partner: ALBA Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece
Logistics supplier: DHL, Contributor: Artecniko

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