'Sailing in Greece - it used to be so idyllic'
If you are thinking of sailing in Greece any time soon, you may become confused when you seek more information. Last month the authorities slapped a new tax on yachts which sail, moor or anchor in Greek waters. This would naturally tend to cause yachts to vote with their raised anchors and sail off to friendlier countries like Turkey and Croatia.
However, seemingly oblivious of the effect of such a large new impost, now, according to new reports there's new plan to increase the network of of marinas, small ports and harbors in the Ionian Sea, the eastern and southeastern Aegean, and the Saronic, Argolikos and Pagasitikos gulfs, among others.
The report adds that Greece should ensure the supply of sufficient services, including refueling, for recreational boats through the rational dispersing of tourism port infrastructure, with the aim of creating a network that will have a suggested distance of 30 nautical miles between marinas and 15 nautical miles between marinas and small ports or harbors.
But hang on, if they've just increased taxes, surely there'll be fewer boats, not more, visiting Greece?
Undaunted, a survey that consulting firm McKinsey delivered to the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE) concerning the development of Greek tourism includes yacht tourism among its priorities.
It argues that locations for the creation of another 15 to 20 marinas have to be found around the country, in addition to the marinas planned by state privatization fund TAIPED.
McKinsey adds that marinas must be upgraded to offer a minimum standard of services on a permanent basis. The survey found that just 12 marinas around Greece, including six in Attica, offer high-level services.
Sailing Greece by Stamatis - .. .
Here is the information about the new taxes, just introduced in November:
The tax applies to small vessels of all nationalities (commercial or leisure) over 7m LOA, as defined on their registration documents, which sail, moor or anchor in Greek waters. The tax will allow circulation for one calendar year. The annual charge will be:
7m - 8m €200
8m – 10m €300
10m – 12m €400
Over 12m €100/metre
The proposed law is apparently the result of two years of negotiations between opposing points of view; tourism interests, versus taxation needs.
To read fuller details of the new taxes, which were published in Greek and then translated, click here
by Des Ryan
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1:19 AM Fri 20 Dec 2013GMT
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