The International Council of Marine Industry Associations World Marinas Conference began Monday in Istanbul, Turkey, with 225 people arriving from every continent, covering 27 countries.
With more than 50 speakers from around the world, program seminar topics addressed the global marina industry and emerging markets.
Organized by the ICOMIA Marinas Group in partnership with METS organizer Amsterdam RAI, the three-day event opened with a Turkish welcome by Alpaslan Sirkecioğlu from conference host Dentur and Cemalettin Sevli, general director of the Turkish Maritime and Inland Waters Directorate. They highlighted the marina environment in Turkey, which has 15,000 berths and 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 insight into the latest trends and developments in the marina industry, reporting slow but steady growth in the number of berths worldwide. An increase of 114,000 berths (5 percent) is expected in the coming decade, with Russia, China and South Korea leading the way in the construction of new marinas.
After the opening ceremony, marina professionals joined sessions designed to facilitate knowledge and an exchange of information. The primary areas of focus were 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 titled ‘Investigating the Current State of the Global Marina Industry.” It showcased the fact that the U.S. market is starting to grow as the global recession ends. There is renewed demand for new boats, especially small and fast ones. The trend is expected to be replicated in Europe and the market for 25-meter-plus yachts is growing worldwide.
Thanks were given to sponsors representing 27 key players from the global marina industry for helping make the conference happen.
“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,” Doris Czech, marketing and sales manager at DualDocker in Austria, said in a statement. “Our expectations are being met and ICOMIA has again provided a very good platform that has attracted familiar faces and new people alike.”