According to a new study by research services firm ICAP, Greece’s yachting market grew significantly during the 2014-2018 period. The report shows that the demand for recreational boating in Greece is stronger than ever. This is good news considering the industry was taking on water as recently as last year.
ICAN’s research shows yacht rentals increased over the 2014-2018 period with over 80 percent of the demand coming from tourists vacationing in Greece. Revenues generated from professional leisure boats are estimated at having increased by 4.4 percent in 2018 against 2017.
The report also outlines how the market size (in value) of Greece’s professional yachting sector grew at an average annual rate of 3.4 percent in 2014-2018. To find out a bit more about this growth from the local perspective, I contacted the owners of SeaJoy Yachts in Rethymno on Crete. Evaggelia Agrimaki confirmed her father’s company’s steady business growth in the last few years. And when I asked her about customer preferences she had this to say:
“Last year we saw a sharp increase in the demand for week-long charters of our larger yachts, as well as for day-trips for these bigger, more luxurious boats. By the end of the touristic season, couples and sets of couples chartering our Pershing 54 Calypso for a day became a mini-trend.”
Michael Skoulikidis, President Greek Yachting Association also confirmed the overall growth of the sector citing the “plethora of choices” yachting enthusiasts have in Greece. According to Skoulikidis, “there are bigger, better equipped and more yachts based in our waters and the majority of them are maintained to finest of standards.” He also made the point of Greece crewing experience as a huge factor in this growth. Not only does Greece have thousands of islands to cruise to and from, nobody knows these waters better than the yachting professionals of Greece.
Shipping company data compiled by ICAN revealed there are currently 6,000 professional yachts active and licensed in Greece. Of these, 65 percent of these are sailing boats, with the remainder being powerboats. As of 2018, yacht rentals in Greece accounted for 63 percent of revenues generated and motorboat rentals amounted to 37 percent.
ICAN’s researched looked at 17 selected ratios and the balance sheets of 18 Greece-based yachting companies for 2013-2017, found that total sales increased by approximately 26 percent in 2017 compared to 2013, with net profit improving overall in 2017 compared to 2016.
The reports are a huge positive if we compare the outlook a couple of years ago when taxation laws threatened to sink the Greece yachting industry for good.