The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference (WMC) opened its doors on Monday June 2 in Istanbul to start an event with a truly international character.
Some 225 guests arrived from every continent, covering 27 countries. With over 50 speakers from all over the world and an impressive programme of seminars on the global marina industry and emerging markets, ICOMIA WMC is the leading light in ensuring the successful future development of marina facilities around the globe.
Organised by the ICOMIA Marinas Group in partnership with METS organiser Amsterdam RAI, the three-day event kicked off with a warm Turkish welcome by Alpaslan Sirkecioğlu from conference host DENTUR and Cemalettin Şevli, General Director of the Turkish Maritime and Inland Waters Directorate. They highlighted the promising marina environment in Turkey, which currently has some 15,000 berths with plans to double the offering.
The opening ceremony also featured ICOMIA Secretary General Tony Rice and Roberto Perocchio, chairman of the ICOMIA Marinas Group. They provided an insight into the latest trends and developments in the marina industry, reporting a slow but steady growth in the number of available berths worldwide. An increase of 114,000 berths (five percent) is expected over the coming decade, with Russia, China and South Korea leading the way in the construction of new marinas.
Getting down to work
After the opening ceremony was concluded, the 200-plus marina professionals present joined various sessions designed to facilitate knowledge and information exchange. The primary areas of focus were on new opportunities in emerging markets, different approaches to marina management, and the diversity of regulations and legislation related to marinas and boating.
One of the first-day sessions was entitled ‘Investigating the current state of the global marina industry’. This showcased the fact that the US market is starting to grow as the global recession comes to an end. There is a renewed demand for new boats, especially small and fast ones. This trend is also expected to be replicated in Europe while the market for 25-metre-plus yachts is growing worldwide.
Dry storage marinas
Another area on the up is dry storage marinas; there are currently 80,000 on-land storage berths in the world and that number is growing exponentially. In this respect, the new dry storage technology presented by Ronaldo Souza from Westrec Marinas (Brazil) during the ‘Dry Storage Marinas - Trending in the 21st Century’ session was particularly relevant.
“The dry storage market is increasing and so are the sizes of boats being stored in this way,” explained Souza. “Whereas the average size of boat being kept on land used to be 25-feet, we are now seeing 60-feet yachts in dry storage. This shift is being facilitated by innovative ways to move and handle heavy boats such as gantry cranes. These new techniques are being used across North and South America.”
Among the many other fascinating topics to come out of the sessions at ICOMIA WMC 2014 was the need for environmental support worldwide in order to rate the dredging in marinas and guarantee good maintenance and accessibility. In a similar vein, designers discussed the best solutions to find a compromise between access to marinas by the public and the need for security at the berths. "This is truly a ‘world’ marina conference,” said Phil Blake, Event Director of the Singapore Yacht Show. “The sheer diversity and calibre of the speakers here in Istanbul is very impressive, with viewpoints and insights offered from all around the globe."
Thanks were given to the sponsors representing 27 key players from the global marina industry for helping make ICOMIA WMC 2014 happen. These sponsors also expressed their pleasure at the event’s success. “Our incentives to become a sponsor of ICOMIA WMC 2014 Istanbul were to present our innovations, have the opportunity to network and to exchange ideas with the key people in the marina industry,” said Doris Czech, marketing and sales manager at DualDocker (Austria). “Our expectations are being met and ICOMIA has again provided a very good platform that has attracted familiar faces and new people alike.”
Bart Mennen, owner of Dutch Blue Marine (the Netherlands) agreed. “ICOMIA WMC 2014 is a very interesting conference that has drawn a worldwide audience. This is ideal for cultivating new relationships and opportunities.” Phil Greenman, Vice President Bellingham Marine (USA) described ICOMIA WMC as “a wonderful opportunity to bring the world’s leading marina experts together to exchange ideas and create lasting professional relationships. Bellingham Marine is an advocate for marina associations as a vehicle to grow boating around the world.”
Cesme Marina wins 2014 PIANC Marina Excellence Design Jack Nichol Award
Last but by no means least, the winner of the 2014 PIANC Marina Excellence Design Jack Nichol Award was announced Cesme Marina, a 353-berth facility accommodating vessels from six to sixty metres near Izmir, Turkey. The award committee praised the way the Cesme Marina met its functionality, aesthetics and environmental sustainability criteria.
On to Brazil...
The next ICOMIA World Marinas Conference will be held in Rio de Janeiro in April 2016. Reflecting on events so far in Istanbul, Roberto Perocchio, chairman of the ICOMIA Marinas Group commented: “The ICOMIA WMC conference has proved once again to be a perfect opportunity to accelerate contacts and new investments in the branch, generate ideas and trends to make marinas more sustainable, and to enable the expansion of marina chains and consortium at an international level. We now look forward to working together towards the 2016 event with our host, the Brazilian Marine Industry Association ACOBAR and organiser Amsterdam RAI.”