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Greece Shipping Ministry Revises Regulation for Yachting Operations

The Greek Shipping Ministry announced this week that a new regulatory framework covering yachting operations has been approved in parliament, paving the way for the development of the sector.

“The new legal framework paves the way for the maritime tourism industry to enter a new era with security, plan and vision… placing Greece on the map among the powerful states of modern yachting,” said Greek Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis speaking in parliament.

The minister went on to add that the revised regulations take into consideration the latest trends in marine tourism and create the conditions for Greece to tap into the advantages and the benefits of the tourism segment.

Greek Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis.

According to Plakiotakis, the new legislative framework focuses on three main areas: modernization and codification of the existing institutional framework; introducing innovation and successful international practices; and setting up a digital grid that will connect stakeholders with the state quickly, flexibly and efficiently.

The goal of the revision, the minister said, is to promote regional development and to support local island and coastal area economies, creating a stable climate for the development of entrepreneurship and attracting investments while stimulating the development of port infrastructure.

Sections of the regulatory framework, however, have run into reactions from yachting professionals. They say the modernized rules for the operation of recreational and day boats allow large vessels (over 35 meters) to obtain a “certain period charter license” under the government’s fast track procedures and offer day charters. This period was initially set at 21 days but under the new regulation it has been extended to 27 days.

This, say professionals, gives greater leeway and creates the conditions for the professional activity of mega, super, and giga yachts that are not operating under a Greek flag.

According to a recent study, Greece stands to gain 2.9 billion euros just from the creation of 5,164 new berths. The study found that though Greece is among the most popular global destinations for recreational sailing, authorities have failed to tap into the vast potential of marinas and ports as well as of boatmaking activities, noting that of the country’s 168 tourism ports only 37 are currently operating and many are still lagging behind in infrastructure upgrades.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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