Every year, Yacht Club de Monaco brings together yachting stakeholders at the La Belle Classe Superyachts Business Symposium. Organised as a dinner-debate under the aegis of the collective ‘Monaco, Capital of Advanced Yachting’ approach, this 16th edition highlighted the significance and economic impact of yachting worldwide on the French Riveria (Région Sud) and the Principality of Monaco.
“With over 2,000 yachts in the Western Mediterranean in the golden triangle between Italy, Spain and the French Riviera, of the 5,500 boats in the world that are more than 30m, the Région Sud and Principality are major players. This symposium is a unique opportunity to bring together owners and professionals to analyse current trends and issues while exploring new opportunities and challenges for the sector,” began Bernard d’Alessandri, YCM General Secretary and President of the Cluster Yachting Monaco.
Enjoying as it does a privileged location with famous marinas and world-renowned tourist events, every year the Région Sud attracts over half of the global +30m fleet of yachts which has increased six-fold in 35 years.
Mainly positioned in maintenance and refit in the west (La Ciotat, La Seyne-sur-Mer, Marseille), the regional industry in the east is focused on commercial and tourism activities (Hyères, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice). Between ports, shipyards, subcontractors and brokers, Région Sud offers a 360oC service to yachting. Blessed with a world-renowned area for sailing, combined with geopolitical stability and security, région Sud is a major hub for the technical and tourism aspects of yachting in France.
“Be it in the South of France or in Monaco, it was essential to carry out economic studies to obtain stable and reliable data to implement a proper policy based on concrete facts. The aim is to be in a position to make recommendations to the industry while respecting the economic-environmental balance,” said François de Canson, President of the CRT (Regional Tourism Committee), President of ADN Tourisme, Vice-President of the PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) region responsible for economic development, attractiveness, tourism and major risks prevention.
According to a study by Earthcase initiated by the CRT (Regional Tourism Committee), the yachting sector’s economic impact is significant at €1.1 billion generating 10,200 jobs for région Sud. More specifically, the technical ecosystem contributes €438 million and 3,600 jobs, with the tourist element generating €663 million and employing 6,600 people.
Région Sud has set up a commission in the Regional Parliament of the Sea dedicated to yachting. And is also making the necessary investments to support technological and energy transitions in the sector. As part of a Euro-Mediterranean transnational cooperation, it is behind the ‘West Med Yachting’ global leadership, from Gibraltar to Malta via Spain (Catalonia, Valencia), Monaco & Italy (Tuscany, Liguria, Sardinia).
The challenges are environmental (coastline to be protected, preservation of marine and land environments, improving quality of coastal life); societal (sharing the coastline and acceptance of yachting, sustaining qualified jobs and training); and economic in the technical and tourist fields to focus even more on innovation, excellence, an exemplary environmental approach, berth capacity and social acceptance.
The South of France, so popular with superyacht owners the world over, faces a number of complex challenges against strong competition, complicated by the problems of harmonising tax, social and regulatory obligations and environmental practices.