Charter bookings are good, but Balearic operators are concerned about unauthorised competition.


Boat charter companies are experiencing an excellent summer because of increased demand. The president of the Balearic association of nautical businesses, Jaume Vaquer, says that this demand - not surprisingly - is at its highest in July and August. He explains that bookings have been made much earlier than in recent years because of fears that there might not be availability. By comparison with July and August, demand was more moderate in June, while September will also be less busy.

Companies have registered more boats because of the demand, with the greatest being for boats between ten and twelve metres length. National information on registrations reveal that in the first half of 2017 there was an 18.5% increase in registrations in the Balearics. This was the highest growth rate in Spain. Up to June, Vaquer notes that a quarter of all charter registrations were for the Balearics.

Regional government figures point to a doubling in the number of registered charter boats between 2011 and 2016: the figure rose from 1,199 to 2,463. On top of these boats are those for which there isn't official data. That's because they have no type of local authorisation.

Unfair competition in the sector is particularly acute when it comes to boats between 12 and 15 metres. Vaquer refers to a "difficult situation" brought about by companies from other parts of the Mediterranean "whose activity is questionable". These companies, he explains, offer much lower prices. Authorised charter operators therefore run into difficulties in terms of competition. Their costs are that much higher, especially if there is crew service.

The association supports the decree passed by the regional government which seeks to control unauthorised operators. Vaquer is in favour of restrictions for boat services that are not controlled and have one thing in common - a lack of quality.


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