Palma.—Activity in yacht clubs and marinas around the Balearics is notably on the decline this summer, said ANADE yesterday, attributing the lower average number of moorings and purchase of diesel to the economic crisis.

Association President Patrick Reynes explained that the same downturn is not true of all ports and marinas as there are some moorings, such as those at the Club de Mar in Palma which will always be in demand. “Nevertheless, it is evident that there are less people taking their boats out and less is being spent at bars, cafés and restaurants in nautical sports installations, he claimed.

He confirmed that yacht diesel has gone up in price since last year which would have a knock-on effect on boating activity. Reynes explained that whilst yachtsmen used to cruise at around 20 to 22 knots per hour, this summer they are keeping their speed down aiming to cut their fuel costs by half.

Seasonal analysis
Looking at the success of the nautical industry so far this season, ANADE reported that its members had “managed to see their way through June”, and although July began with a poor response, business eventually picked up and August is expected to be similarly thriving. “The problem is that the simple fact that nautical activity has been on the downturn has a multiple effect on the general economy of the Islands,” said Reynes, revealing just how important the industry is to regional business. “There are all kinds of industries laterally associated with yachting including boat maintenance and fittings, private coach transport, bars, cafés, restaurants and taxis.” Reynes said there was general concern about the future of the nautical industry in the Balearics. He claimed that it was not just a question of whether this current season proves a success or not, but rather one of how businesses are to keep earnings out of the holiday period which in itself appears to be getting shorter and shorter.

Meanwhile, prices of moorings said Reynes are the same now as they were in summer 2011, but in winter all marinas and nautical sports installations will be making significant discounts in their charges to attract clients out of season. “We've got to keep people coming,” said Reynes.

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