Charter: the value of a market that satisfies its clients

500 craft based on the islands pertain to this sector and are engaged in this activity

The boat charter offer in the Balearic Islands is doubtless one of the most important in the western Mediterranean Sea. About 500 craft pertaining to this sector are based in the archipelago and benefit from an environment which offers exceptional conditions for nautical tourism. Weather conditions are considerably mild and geography offers the possibility of following diverse and attractive programmes. A simple excursion from a bay to its surrounding areas, or a crossing from one island to the next, allow us to sail through  very diverse areas within a short space of time.

 

A further advantage is the fact that the location of the islands constitutes a vantage point in terms of travel as excellent communications make it easy to visit other interesting places in the Mediterranean. In this sense and according to recent analysis of the charter market in the Balearic Islands, the advantages are: exceptional surroundings in a consolidated, safe, and stable place; proximity to the different  home countries of potential tourists; top quality diverse craft to choose from; an excellent reputation and international fame; as well as a high degree of client satisfaction.

A source of satisfaction is the fact that nowadays nautical tourists no longer constitute an elite. Both economic development in the main points of origin of clients and the popularity of charter boats have contributed to make sailing less elitist and more mainstream. For a sea lover, it can be more economical to enjoy boat hiring services than to buy and maintain a boat of his own.

 

In the Balearic Islands, European clients have an enormously wide range of choice. When choosing between far away tourist destinations such as the Caribbean, Asia and the Polynesia, or nearby ones, the Mediterranean is easily accessible and offers many varied attractions.

According to data collected in the surveys mentioned before, the possibilities of the Balearic charter sector are enormous and business figures indicate that 55,600 tourists a year choose this type of option meaning that revenues from boat charter are in the region of 16.8 million euros per year.

Boat charter tourists are highly valued in the Balearic economy for their low impact on the environment and because they constitute what has come to be known as "high quality tourism". To take a case in point, it is estimated that independent of the cost of hiring a boat, these tourists spend an average of 66.74 euros per day on complementary services and this totals 26 million euros per year which benefit multiple businesses of the public service sector on the island.

There is no question that such an outlook has a direct effect on the labour market. During the high season, almost 250 people work directly in charter companies as office clerks, maintenance workers or part-time extra workers helping out in management. During the low and medium season there is a logical and slight decrease in occupation, maintaining an average of between 150 to 200 active workers.

We should emphasise the effect that the growth of this sector has had on tourism. Round the boat charter core business, a whole slew of related activities takes place, such as boat brokerage, winterisation, gardiennage, maintenance, and all other manner of imaginable off-shoots such as ship chandlery, specialized publications, financial services, nautical clothing, security systems, etc., and, of course, income for ports and marinas… the potential is enormous.