At the round table, experts raised the issue of improving the image of the Crimean seaports. Experts agree on one thing – the peninsula, as a yacht mecca, certainly has potential. But what is missing is the construction of yacht marinas (specialized berths for yachts, boats and small vessels), infrastructure, qualified personnel and a single information center to support and accompany yacht tourism.
According to the vice-president of the National Union of the Hospitality Industry Alexei Volkov, this season Crimea has met an unprecedented flow of tourists.
– Everyone who usually rested in Sardinia, Monaco, Montenegro – in places where yachts are concentrated – came to Crimea this summer, – said Alexey Volkov. – Today it is necessary to reconsider the attitude towards the fleet and water transportation, high-speed transportation in the Black Sea is needed, a cruise component is needed, and not one old ship that we have now. We are faced with the task of reformatting the attitude towards the transport infrastructure of ports from cargo transportation to passenger transportation.
Currently, yachting and sailing in Russia is poorly developed. Although it is quite a lucrative tourism destination all over the world. Russians spend 200 million euros annually on the maintenance of their yachts abroad. It is a pity that this money does not remain in the home country. The average cost of anchorage in Europe is 100 euros per night. In Turkey, 25% of tourism income comes from yachting.
There are no marinas in Crimea. There are several hundred berths built during the Soviet era, but most of them have been destroyed.
The director of the maritime agency, Oleg Kumkin, identified the following problems: a short holiday season compared to Turkey and Europe, bureaucratic attitude towards this business and the limited availability of existing yacht accommodation.
– This year, about 8 large yachts arrived to us from Europe. They stayed for the winter, but if Europe opens up, they will go back, because we do not have structuring for the yacht, – Oleg Kumkin threw up his hands. – But there are suggestions. First, the duty must be reduced from 40 to 5%. Secondly, to reduce the time for registering ships at customs, assessing only by two criteria – the year of the ship’s release and its volume. And, thirdly, to reduce the time required for obtaining permits for carrying out activities for the transportation of passengers. Then the millions who settle abroad could settle with us.
Yachtsmen know from their own experience how problematic is the procedure for customs clearance of boats. Import customs duty can be up to 70% of the value of the yacht.
But these are not the only difficulties. Representatives of the seaport in Yalta spoke about the peculiarities of the electronic system of the base “Ship calls to the ports of the Russian Federation”. Before obtaining an anchorage permit, the master of the vessel must register the status of an agent. And this must be done on weekdays during business hours. It also takes a long time. We need options to simplify registration rules for the entry and exit of ships in the water area of the Crimean ports.
Traveler, writer Andrei Nevzorov came to Sevastopol on a yacht from Rostov. The yachtsman noted positive changes in communication with border guards and suggested alternative solutions for anchorage: to tie boats to anchors. It is environmentally safe and economical: an anchor with installation will cost 30 thousand rubles, and for parking you can take from 10 dollars, as is done in Europe.
Vadim Denisov, Development Director of Black Sea Charter Company LLC, calls on the state to resolve the issue.
– We do not have conditions for yacht tourism, – says Vadim Denisov. – No marinas, infrastructure, elementary showers, toilets. Crimea has a wonderful 5-month season, comparable to the Croatian one, but what to do here? There is not a single economically profitable marina, except for Kerch and Feodosia. Any marina is promising if there is land behind it, on the basis of which something can be organized. How much benefit each yacht will bring to the state! 100 yachts are more than a billion rubles. How many jobs will be created. Our fuel and parking facilities are two times cheaper than in Europe. We need a solvent client who is used to the service and can spend money, but we do not attract such clients here. In general, while there is no large government investment in infrastructure, this is a fuss in the sandbox.
As an option, attracting investors by providing them with a plot where they will create a tourist infrastructure with catering and accommodation facilities.
Olga Yakovleva, director of the children’s seaport in Yalta, believes that the staff should be educated from childhood. This is what their center is doing.
“We have the only maritime center in Crimea, where we develop maritime sports and professions,” Olga Nikolaevna said. – For several years I raised the question, let’s develop this direction, we are on the seashore, we have all the conditions. It was very popular in Soviet times, why not revive it now? For two years they brushed me off. It seems that the vector has changed, but as long as there is no interest of the local authorities, nothing will move.
According to Yakovleva, if a couple of years ago no more than 20 children showed a desire to go in for sailing, then this year there are almost 90 of them. But conditions and financial opportunities do not allow to cover everyone.
Alexey Volkov promised to submit this issue to the President’s instructions. “We have personnel education in the subgroup of the State Council. I think the president will react, he looks at such things positively. If we want to develop domestic tourism, we need training, ”added the vice president of OSIG.
Deputy Minister of Resorts and Tourism of the Republic of Kazakhstan Yulia Martynenko said that the department is interested in the development of yacht tourism. To date, a feasibility study has been ordered for the creation of an infrastructure for passenger sea freight, including yacht marinas.
“There are plans to create yachting marinas and about 20 ports of shelters,” the Deputy Minister informed. – Kerch, Feodosia, Koktebel, Yalta, Alupka, Alushta, Evpatoria, Saki are under consideration. This should be a place where there will be more economic benefits. After preparing a feasibility study, there will be an understanding of what amounts will be discussed. We support this story, but it will not be fast. Hopefully, starting next year we will be able to talk about concrete figures.
Earlier, the Crimean parliament discussed that it is planned to build 15 yacht berths in the Crimea and from 17 in the Krasnodar Territory. The creation of a free economic zone for domestically produced yachts will be considered to give a boost to this area. It is known for sure that the Crimean shipyards “More” and “Zaliv” will cope with this task. The length of the Crimean coastline is two and a half thousand kilometers, which is enough to create a sufficient number of specialized harbors and parking lots.
As a result of the round table, it was decided to create a working group for the development of yacht tourism. Proposals have already been developed. We are talking about the development of yacht infrastructure: equipment of specialized harbors, regulation of the regulatory framework, placement of relevant vessels in them, reduction of the tax burden and improvement of the taxation system for companies financing the development of yacht tourism, improvement of the image and marketing policy of promoting the ports of Crimea and Sevastopol. It is necessary to build marinas, create infrastructure for yachts, for competitions and recreation, develop a separate base for repairing marinas, create bills that will allow both Russian and foreign investors to bring their money here without fear for their safety.