According to an annual report on the charter market by the Spanish yacht association AEGY (Asociación Española de Grandes Yates), the number of yachts over 65 feet (20m) registered to charter in the Balearic Islands in the past six years has grown each year from 13 in 2013 to a peak of 170 in 2017. The 2019 numbers show a decrease of 14% with 134 yachts registered.
The AEGY helped persuade the Spanish government to make changes in 2013 to tax legislation that had made chartering in Spain prohibitively expensive and complicated. Since these changes, the AEGY has monitored the growth in the charter market and analyzed the economic impact on the Balearics.
The author of the report, Anne Sterringa, senior charter broker for Camper and Nicholsons and a member of the AEGY board, suggests that the 2019 decrease is partly due to the VAT rate in Spain being higher than in other EU countries, as well as local bureaucratic procedures. However, according to the association, a unification of procedures was achieved in 2019 and is expected to result in a more streamlined process for registering charters this year.
“We have seen a lot of growth since 2013, however we are not complacent and want to build on our success,” AEGY President Diego Colon stated.
According to Colon, the association is lobbying the government and the European Commission to eliminate the matriculation tax, and creating vocational training courses to ensure a skilled workforce.
The report also notes that trendy destinations are cyclical, especially for non-Spanish clients. The most popular destination in 2016 and 2017 was Ibiza; in 2018, it was southern Italy; and in 2019, it was Greece.
For more information, visit aegy.org.