The 2015 yachting season has already seen an increase in yacht charter bookings in Spain, according to leading Spanish yacht charter company, easyboats.
Lorenzo Vila, director of easyboats commented, “The crisis is over and the Spanish yacht charter market is back. Charter enquiries are flooding in this year. Not only are they unprecedented in number but they’re also coming in, and closing, far earlier in the season than usual. Previously people waited until the last minute to book a boat, monitoring their financial situation and hoping to get a late deal - 2015 is different. We’ve signed contracts on several charters, mainly in the 45ft to 60ft sector, and some for as early as Easter.”
According to easyboats, one of the reasons for the increase is the elimination of the matriculation tax. Lorenzo continued, “easyboats is also handling many more leads for larger boats and, thanks to the elimination of matriculation tax and a lifting of restrictions on non-EU-flagged vessels to charter in Spain, we have plenty more superyachts to offer – including those licensed for parties of up to 36 guests. Our portfolio has also increased due to a law change which now permits private use of a business asset, provided the owner pays VAT according to market charter rate. This makes it more attractive, and viable, for our boat owners to secure additional income through charter.
“Exchange rates are also affecting the make-up of enquiries. The pound is at its strongest level versus the euro for seven years, the Swiss franc has risen dramatically, as has the Swedish krona. These nationalities are picking up a bargain charter in the best cruising ground in Spain – possibly the western Mediterranean. It’s shaping up to be a very rewarding season for easyboats.”
Last year saw the first growth in Spain’s recreational boat market since 2007. Following six years of decline, 2014 closed with a 9.92% increase in registrations over the previous year. Charter boat registrations represented the biggest leap, up a vast 56.72% over the previous year (373 boats versus 238) which, according to easyboats, is not only a direct reaction to the elimination of 12% matriculation tax for charter yachts but also a reflection of general industry feeling that Spanish yachting has emerged from the economic downturn.
For more information, visit easyboats.