YACHT clubs in Spain anticipate closing their accounts this year with a 13 percent increase in their income compared to figures for 2002. And they are predicting a further 14 percent increase next year. Consultants DBK reported yesterday that the growth in price for sale and rent of berths, combined with the level of demand, are the principal factors explaining the gradual acceleration of income in the marina industry over the last few years. The sector closed accounts for the year 2002, having invoiced some 167 million euros. It will close the current year with a business volume of 189 millions. In the coming years, growth expectations for the industry are optimistic. A framework of plans is already on the table to extend a number of existing marinas and to build new ones. Such enlargement of facilities will help to reduce the differential between availability and demand. The growing demand for berths for rent or for sale, is rooted in the scarce supply of moorings, of which there are less than 100'000. Catalonia alone lays claim to more than 25 percent of the total number of berths, followed by the Balearics, Valencia and Andalucia. The long and short term renting of berths forms the core of the yachting industry. In 2002, it accounted for 92 million euros of business, that is 55 percent of total income. In 2002, 43 million euros was attributable to the sale of berths, 26 percent of total income value; while the remaining 19 percent was derived from auxiliary sources related to the yachting industry. Often, such subsidiary services are provided by the same company that manages the rent and sale of berths.
ARGUMENTS
The report is likely to add fuel to the arguments for and against more marinas in the Balearics.
Environmentalists are fiercely opposed to the creation of more berths, but marina owners point to the fact that the yachting market is a lucrative one, and there are insufficient berths on the islands. There is a shortage of berths for the summer months, and marinas are using this argument to back their claims for permission to expand or build new marinas. Environmentalists point to the damage caused to the fragile sea bed ecosystem and the added pollution caused.

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