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2016 November December Marina World

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MARKET FOCUS: RUSSIA Sochi Grand Marina is the largest in the country with 290 berths. constructed prior to the Olympics. According to him, it is hard to imagine that a lot of new marinas in the country could be constructed or even modernised in coming years as yachting in Russia is at an embryonic stage. “Russia has no concept of yachting or the yacht business,” he said. “Almost all existing ‘marinas’ in Soviet times were collective fish farms. The possibility for year-round navigation only exists in the Black Sea. As a result, the main market players are located here and they are Grand Marina in Sochi and Aleksino Port Marina in Novorossiysk.” “In Russia, sailing and the marina business is still in its infancy in many ways due to an imperfect legal framework and legislation. For example, commercial management of vessels in our country is still barely represented. The psychology of the boat owner in Russia does not allow him to make his boat available for charter. We used to say that it is not comme il faut [the done thing]. We also have imperfect insurance legislation in respect of chartered boats and a large number of additional paper formalities and restrictions for this type of activity,” he added. It seems that, in general, the Olympics gave Russia its first impetus in 20 years to develop something of a marina business on the Black Sea coast with Sochi Grand Marina. This marina, which was built just prior to the Games, has berths for 290 yachts and plans to increase to 360 by 2020. It is believed to be the largest marina in the country. “For the Olympic Games, stateowned operator Russian Sea Ports decided to build a new passenger port [in Sochi]. Sovcomflot [a Russian shipping company] invested in the old port to transform it into a yacht marina. The quintessence of these events was the involvement of Burevestnik Group. It has become the management company for the project,” explained Andrey Boiko, Burevestnik Group CEO. He also indicated that development of yachting in the country is still slipping and that this also constrains the marina business. “Having the sea [coast] and, in the case of Russia, having non-developed yachting infrastructure is to say the least strange. Local budgets do not receive the tax benefits and tourist infrastructure is not developing. The government has recently started to pay attention to the fact that Russia is the third largest country in the world in terms of ​surface water area resources and the situation has begun to change slightly with simplification of procedures such as customs regulations for ocean-going yachts,” he said. In total, according to official data, Russia has 23 marinas with a total of 840 berths along the southern coast. At least four of them are currently abandoned and some marinas are actually operating illegally – without relevant registration and without paying taxes. The customer base is weak as the economic crisis has significantly reduced the purchasing power of most Russian people. They have been unwilling to purchase many yachts in recent years as a result. Despite this, officials around the country are dreaming about huge projects for the construction of new marinas. Money is on its way? According to the press office of the Governor of Krasnodar Krai, despite the crisis, Russian boat owners actually spend EUR200 million every year for berthing and boat maintenance at overseas marinas. With a target to bring this money home, in 2012 officials adopted a programme for the construction of 11 marinas, comprising four basic and seven guest facilities, along the Black Sea coast at an overall cost of US0-200 million. The project is to be implemented within a PPP (Public Private Partnership), with the federal treasury financing up to 50% of the investment for the construction of the hydraulic structures. The remaining money must be provided by private investors. “This principle works very well, for example, in Turkey,” said Vadim Dyadyuk, CEO of Aleksino Port Marina. “The state is building the most expensive part of the marina – the waterworks - and then gives it on a long-term lease to a commercial company. This turns out to be a win-win situation not only for the private businesses but also for the state, which has the opportunity to earn some money from leases.” But Dyadyuk also suggested that any investment would be cast to the wind in the absence of relevant legislative changes. “For example, for a Turkish yacht to - November/December 2016 21

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