ONE of the biggest attractions of the Balearics is that it is one of the most amazing and accessible sailing destinations in the world. The most luxurious and expensive super yachts don’t spend most of their summer in Balearic waters for nothing, not to mention the love for the open sea the majority of the local population has and the thriving charter industry - all of which generate vast amounts of income for local businesses and create a vast number of jobs.
The shipyards in Palma are considered some of the best in the world for refit and repairs, there has been an annual waiting list for space on the hard for over the past decade. As the business sector has stated, the nautical industry accounts for almost 50% of Balearic industrial GDP, so why is it struggling as a result of the pandemic and more importantly, why are the local authorities doing very little, if anything, to help the industry keep its head above water?
Attempts have been made to try and encourage more local tradespeople to train to work in the nautical sector, which depends greatly on foreign expertise, but there does not appear to have been any follow up on how the scheme has worked. Just like the tourist industry as a whole, the Balearic nautical industry is facing mounting competition from emerging destinations - therefore the government must step in to shore the industry up.