The professional and private yachting industry is slowly sinking amidst a really crucial period with tourism.
Greek yacht owners as well as foreigners that used to tie their boating knots in the country’s marines now appear to opt for Montenegro and Turkey, as a result of the tax system instability and the increase of presumptions on maintenance costs as well as acquisition of assets that will apply from that year on. 4,000 yachts have been forced to a stand still.
According to market people, it is estimated that more than 300 boats have sailed to neighboring countries to find marines that are cheaper and have stable tax systems.
“The instability of the tax requirements and the legal framework has created a sense of insecurity to Greece-based yacht owners, and now we see them fleeing to Montenegro, Croatia and Turkey where they can find tax stability,” Professional Yacht Owners Association (EPEST) President Antonis Stelliatos explains to protothema.gr.
According to recent data, losses in Greek marines have increased by 25% compared to 2009, while workers in the professional yachting sector face a dramatic unemployment rate of 40%.
“The new government has to carefully examine the professional and private yachting sector,” notes Stelliatos, adding that foreigners who used to arrive in Greece every summer are reluctant due to the tax system instability. “We lose money from that too…That’s damaging our tourism,” he points out.
2,700 yachts of the 3,500 that are tied are registered as professional, while 3,000 Greek seamen are employed on professional tourist yachts.
Meanwhile, a great number of yachts remain on the docks as demand doesn’t meet the offer. Greek banks on the other side have proceeded in confiscations, as professional yacht owners are incapable of servicing their debt obligations.