The Balearic charter industry is braced for a summer boom next month, with Palma yacht chandlers yesterday saying that it is now virtually impossible to find a yacht for charter anywhere in the Balearics for August. While it has been a rather slow summer for the charter sector, some Palma companies are having to scour the Mediterranean for sail and motor yachts to meet the massive demand for Balearic cruises over the next five weeks. There also appears to be huge demand for the week starting August 4, which marks the end of the Copa del Rey, suggesting that the regatta is not just a huge attraction for top international sailing crews, but also Europe's wealthy. One chandler even has a millionaire Egyptian on its waiting list for a charter that week. The peak season boom in the charter industry will help to lift the gloom over the region's tourist sector and the local government, while they are undecided on whether marinas are good for the environment or not, will be pleased because the charter industry attracts the government's beloved “big spending quality tourists.” The Balearic government has been warned this year that it needs to start taking the region's charter industry much more seriously and, instead of trying to clip its wings, by introducing tight restrictions on the expansion of marinas and moorings, help the industry meet the huge demand for Balearic berths and charters. The yachting industry is worth millions of pounds every year to the Balearics, is a major employer and plays a significant role in providing the region with a quality and luxurious image. Every summer, million-pound yachts are forced to literally queue up off the Balearics as they wait for a berth - and the proof is in the pudding. Within just a matter of months of Palma new's marina opening along the Paseo Maritimo, the berths are almost full. Majorca's maintenance facilities are second to none in the Mediterranean and already the yards are taking bookings for post-summer and pre-Caribbean refits.

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