The welcome mat is open for cruising sailors to Crimea, and it didn't take them long. With yachting in significant decline in Crimea following the annexation by Russia, President Putin and the Russian government have announced an investment of up to $2 billion to develop yacht tourism. Russian entry procedures will also be relaxed.
According to news reports, the plan is meant to lure back the yachts which voted with raised anchors and fled the troubled country.
According to state plans, the money will be spent in building of up to 15 new marinas in the region's largest cities by 2020, creating up to 6,000 new jobs in some of the Black Sea resorts along the coast of Crimea.
The decline in yachting was shown in a recent report by Vladimir Glinyanik, first vice-president of the Sailing Federation of Sevastopol.
According to Glinyanik, after the annexation by Russia the number of yachts in Sevastopol has declined by three times. The majority of yachts went to mainland ports in Ukraine, as well as to Turkey and Greece. This has already resulted in massive lay-offs of people employed across the industry.
Glinyanik also added that in order to improve the current situation in the Crimean yachting industry, the Russian government will have to consider a package of measures aimed at stimulating yachting in the peninsula.
Crimea - not much infrastructure for yachting right now, but coming soon - .. .
In the meantime, according to an official spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade (the ministry that will be responsible for the development of yachting tourism in Crimea), in addition to building the necessary infrastructure, other planned measures include an easing of procedures for yachts to access Crimea’s seaports and the elimination of administrative barriers in Crimean and Russian territorial waters.
There are also plans for the popularisation of yacht tourism in Crimea on the global market, which is expected to take place through the 'marketing and promotion of local yacht tourism and the organisation of yachting festivals'.
With yacht chartering taking off in Bulgaria with companies such as Venid-Yacht, part of the Dinevi Group, the Black Sea becomes a more and more attractive discrete destination for the holiday sailor.