Taken place in the lovely Italian yacht charter destination – Cagliari in Sardinia, on May 31 and June 1, this year’s UCINA SATEC conference was marked by two important provisions to relaunch Sardinia’s leisure boating. These were presented by Ugo Cappellacci, President of the Region of Sardinia, on the second day of the Satec, devoted to the convention: “The development of leisure boating tourism. Tourism, the driving force of our country”.
The aim of the two provisions is to relaunch leisure boating in Sardinia. One is a financial measure connected with the national budget law to reduce fuel taxes and the other is a bill to be presented during the Regional Council meeting on June 5 to equalize marina resorts and dry marinas to other hospitality businesses. Consequently, the vat would drop to 11%, the same for hospitality businesses.
The second day of the Satec, devoted to the convention “The development of leisure boating tourism. Tourism, the driving force of our country”, began with this announcement, made by the President of the Region of Sardinia, Ugo Cappellacci.
During his speech, the President said, “We wish to work towards launching a sector that is important for the development of the tourist industry. The disposable income of leisure boat owners is very high and leisure boating makes it possible to extend the vacationing season. We must also take into account the satellite businesses, such as those related to boat maintenance. Unfortunately, over the past few years our government has been short-sighted and oppressive towards a sector that has enormous potential. Our commitment goes further than the financial aspects, as 200 million euros will be invested in the completion and upgrading of our port infrastructures, which will attract visitors and new users.”
There followed the presentation of a research project run by the National Nautical Observatory on leisure boating tourism in Sardinia, whose results provided important information on the trend of leisure boating on the island. This information will be useful for determining the growth potential of this sector in Sardinia and the benefits it will bring to satellite businesses and employment.
The participants of the workshop that followed were Anton Francesco Albertoni (President of UCINA Confindustria Nautica), Luigi Crisponi (Director of Tourism, Crafts, and Commerce for the Region of Sardinia), Marco Bruschini (Director of Promotion Projects for ENIT), Matteo Giuliano Caroli (tenured professor at the Luiss Guido Carli University), Franco Cuccureddu (President of the Sardinia Port Network), Paola De Micheli (Vicar Coordinator of the Partito Democratico at Parliament), and Piergiorgio Massidda (President of the Port Authority of Cagliari). The speakers debated on what mainly hinders today the relaunching of leisure boating tourism and the strategies to be implemented in order to overcome the obstacles.
All participants agreed on the need to reduce the relevant bureaucracy and help Italy compete on a level that is equal to other Mediterranean players. In his conclusion, Anton Francesco Albertoni said, “The project that President Cappellacci illustrated this morning should be an example for other regions of Italy. We’re not saying anything new, because in Spain and France the vat for leisure boating tourism and hospitality businesses is already the same. We are confident that the new Administration and Parliament will listen to us. We have spoken with the Minister for Infrastructures and Transport, Maurizio Lupi, and with the presidents of the two committees at Parliament and Senate, and the feedback has been encouraging. We are now waiting to see what happens.”