In Palma, this spring, everything is once again about the nautical sector. More than 40,000 visitors are expected at the old pier – Moll Vell – in front of La Lonja, to learn about the latest offers, trends, and developments related to the topic of boats and yachts. Almost 200 exhibitors from over 25 countries will put up their stands here. Around 30% are presenting themselves for the first time in Palma. The majority of exhibitors – 65% approximately – come from Spain, the rest are foreigners.
As in the previous year, the exhibition space will be divided into two parts. The centre of attention will be the Palma Superyacht Show, a completely integrated exhibition of sailing and motor yachts with a length of more than 24 metres.
This was originated by the Balearic Yacht Broker Association (BYBA), which consists of half-a-dozen entrepreneurs who specialize in sales and the charter of multi-million-dollar boats. “We sat down with the exhibition management to look for a possibility together to meet the demands of the nautical sector in Mallorca,” says Arne Ploch, the president of the BYBA.
They also brought the Worldwide Yachting Association (MYBA) on board, which has been supporting the interests of brokers and charter companies for luxury yachts for more than 30 years all around the globe. The result was the Superyacht Show (from the 27th of April to the 1st of May)– as an independent part of the fair. Today, it´s the driving force of the whole boat show. At the same time, it indicates the continuous boom of the nautical sector on the island.
“The demand for luxury charters especially has increased immensely on the island,” says Marta Iglesias, member of the supervisory board of MYBA. One main reason for this is the relaxation of the regional tax regulations for charter yachts of more than 15 metres, which started in 2014. Until a few years ago, foreign owners of luxury yachts wouldn´t come near the Balearic Islands. Why? Because in order to charter their boat on the islands, and thus cover some the expenses for maintaining and running the boat, they would have to register it officially in Spain and pay the corresponding tax, amounting to 12% of the purchase value. “For years, this meant putting obstacles in their own way,” Iglesias says.
Today, there is a different situation. “While in 2014 we hardly had any foreign superyachts in charter, today there are almost 70,” says Arne Ploch, who is also working for the renowned international yacht broker Camper & Nicholson in Palma. This change is also reflected in the upcoming Superyacht Show. “For the first time, yachts will not only be offered for sale, but also for charter.”
For Marta Iglesias there are also other reasons why the Palma Boatshow is something really special. “Hardly any other fair in Europe represents the interests of the international yachting industry as efficiently as in Palma. In comparison with the boat shows in Cannes and Monaco, where the customers arrive in helicopters and limousines, the fair in Palma is neither elitist nor extravagant. Furthermore, it´s not created by a private company, but by the public sector. This again, is reflected in the low costs for the exhibitors,” explains Iglesias.
The nautical industry is the most important source of income for the Balearics – after the tourism. According to the regional government, last year this sector harvested more than 400 million euros. “Particularly in the areas of refit and maintenance of yachts, Mallorca is one of the leading destinations worldwide,” says Arne Ploch. “Six out of ten of the worldwide biggest yacht-broker and charter companies are located on the island,” says Marta Iglesias, stressing the significance of Mallorca as a hotspot within in the international nautical sector.
Open 11:00 – 20:00h (11:00-23:00h on Sea Night, April 28th)
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