Andalucía’s marinas fill up again
Published on: 26-09-2017

A report from Andalucía’s marinas indicates that this summer has seen berths for boats filled at a figure that is the highest since the start of the recession. Predictions expected summer 2017 to be exceptionally good for the Costa del Sol’s marinas and this has proved to be true with occupation at over ninety percent.

These figures make it clear that recovery is solid in this sector and that it has achieved its objective of returning to pre-2007 figures in the shortest possible time. There are 4,400 berths available in Málaga province, according to the association Marinas de Andalucía, which includes seven of province’s nine private ports among its membership.

Benalmádena is the largest marina on the Costa del Sol with 1,140 berths, whilst Puerto Banús has 915 and Estepona 447. The others have between 100 and 328 berths. The association says that seventy five percent of the berths are used by clients with boats based in the various ports, whilst twenty five percent of the available spaces are used by visitors passing through.

Prior to the recession, Andalucía’s marinas experienced exceptionally good traffic, which has been slowly rising since 2013, with 2016 being the breakthrough year when contracts for mooring vessels reached eighty five percent – and this year it has risen again.

The president of the marinas association, José Carlos Martín, said: “We are very satisfied with these levels of occupation. The good forecasts are being fulfilled and there are more and more ports that are already at one hundred per cent. The marinas are a thermometer of the economy. We were the first to notice the arrival of the crisis and we are also the first to notice that it is receding. The mooring of a boat is the first expense that a person cuts in times of a recession, but consumption is already rebounding and people are taking their boats back to sea.”

New and returning clients are typically people aged forty to fifty, who during the recession either sold their boats or put them in storage. The economic improvement has allowed them to return to their hobby and to leasing a mooring. Overseas boat owners are also swelling the numbers due to the political situation in Turkey, which is a favoured location for Europeans to moor their boats. Although the peak season for berths is June to October, the port owners are working to ensure stability throughout the year and minimise the effects of the so-called off-season.

Undoubtedly, boating and the Costa del Sol are a marriage made in heaven and it seems that the relationship is once again going very well. Long may it last.