The president of the Hellenic Maritime Tourism Association Michalis Skoulikidis, speaking to NEA newspaper, noted that if the war in Ukraine, which has slowed down bookings and sales, had not happened, the growth of the mega yacht market in Greece would be. As is, the market will surpass record year 2019. The war makes high-income travelers wary, said Mr. Skoulikidis.

War in Ukraine

Hellenic Tourist Boat Owners Association (EPEST) president also took a similar stance noting that the war is a hinderance, but still mega yacht charters will grow beyond 2019 levels. Due to the war all Russian and Ukrainian charters have been canceled, while there have been some cancellations by American charterers.

Most of the clients are Americans, noted Mr. Skoulikidis, and they remain cautious after the start of hostilities. Americans, he noted, rent boats, unlike high-income Greeks or Europeans who use their own boats for their holidays.

Safe vacation solution in pandemic conditions

However, since yachting is the safest vacation solution in a pandemic, as there is the possibility of complete control of both the boat and the crews as well as the travelers, there is a strong demand for reservations.

The level of telecommunication services offered by a mega yacht, which are usually better than those on land, also supports the choice of vacation by boat. For this reason there are many high-ranking executives who combine vacation and distance work. It is no coincidence that a new term has been invented, Bleasure, which is a combination of the concept of “business” and “pleasure”.

Longer duration

Another trend that has intensified due to the pandemic is the reduction in the number of trips. This is also reflected in the picture of boat charters, as the average charter has increased from 7 to 11 days.

Greece is rightly considered the global yachting paradise, according to Mr. Skoulikidis, who estimates that Greece has not reaped all the benefits it could from the growth of yachting. Mr. Skoulikidis, therefore, retabled a previous proposal for the creation of a national committee, which will study the issues of the industry and help State in formulating a national strategy.

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