News from the Land of Odysseus is not all that good these days and the Greece yacht charter system apparently is suffering as well. At first it seemed that only the private sector of the yachting industry was affected but now it seems that also the professionals are beginning to feel the blows.
It used to be a common fact among the yacht charter community that Greece had the cheapest berths in the Mediterranean which were decently equipped and reasonably located, which is why so many companies as well as private owners moored their boats here, generating income for the local marinas.
Now it seems that more and more yacht owners are choosing to take their yachts elsewhere, in countries such as Turkey or Montenegro due to the economic instability of the Greek region. Another reason for this is the increase of presumptions on maintenance costs as well as the acquisition of assets that will apply from that respective year on.
It has been estimated that as many as 4000 yachts have been affected by this and now are standing moored. It has been also estimated that close to 300 boats have already chosen to sail to neighboring countries in search of cheaper moorings and more stable taxation systems.
“The instability of the tax requirements and the legal framework has created a sense of insecurity to Greece-based yacht owners, and now we see them fleeing to Montenegro, Croatia and Turkey where they can find tax stability,” Professional Yacht Owners Association (EPEST) President Antonis Stelliatos explains.
Data has been gathered recently and it would seem that there has been a drop in profit for Greece marinas of 25% as compared to 2009. Also, it would seem that the unemployment rating among yachting professionals has risen to an alarming 40%. That’s a high percentage, considering that at the moment Greece has some 3000 people employed in the professional tousit yachts sector.
Those few boats that can still afford to sail then have to cope with the ever decreasing demand for yacht charters which has dropped steeply since last year. Greek banks have begun the process of confiscating vessels for those professionals that now find themselves unable to fulfill their debt obligations. The experts consider that a stable economic medium and a sound and well-formed taxation system would drive back sales and the industry would then get back on its feet.