THE Balearic nautical industry is booming, according to the latest reports, but industry sources claim that the sector could do even better with greater support from the local authorities. According to a study commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce for Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera, the Balearic nautical sector has grown by 28.6 percent over the past five years and in 2005 alone, turned over 422 million euros, 19 million of which came from the charter sector. The Chamber of Commerce report reveals that last year, 276.000 “nautical tourists” visited the Balearics and 55.000 of those were charter yacht clients who, according to the study, spend an average of 66 euros per day (not including charter costs). According to nautical industry sources, two key factors are fuelling the boom.
The first is the ever increasing popularity of Spain, in particular the Balearics, as a nautical holiday destination, the second is the America's Cup 2007 in Valencia which, as the Bulletin reported last month, is already generating a great deal of business. In Valencia, business in the charter sector has doubled in comparison to last year and tripled when compared to 2003 and 2004. The Balearics, in particular Palma, is also reaping the rewards of Valencia hosting the America's Cup with super yacht owners already booking moorings and accommodation for the regatta. In the meantime, the nautical sector is braced for its busiest month of the year. As usual Balearic marinas and yacht clubs are full with many late arrivals having to moor off and join the queue of yachts waiting for a berth.

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