Balearic Islands nautical clubs generate 627 million/year business worth, 1.9% of the Balearic GDP

A study commissioned by the Association of Nautical Clubs of the Balearic Islands (ACNB) to the Department of Economy and Business of the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) reveals the social importance of the 24 non-profit sports entities associated to the ACNB.

Yacht clubs generate an annual business volume of 627 million euros, equivalent to 1.9% of the GDP of the Balearic Islands, according to a study carried out by the Department of Economy and Business of the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB).
The presentation event, done by a zoom call, was attended by the rector of the UIB, Llorenç Huguet; doctors Rafael Crespí, María Antonia García and Margarita Alemany –authors of the study–, and the president of the Association of Nautical Clubs of the Balearic Islands, Miquel Suñer. Huguet thanked the ACNB for its trust and stressed the importance of “shedding light” on the social reality of the Balearic Islands through the “knowledge transfer” that academic institutions can contribute.

According to the report, “the ability to create nautical tourism experiences, together with the economic and socio-cultural importance of the clubs, gives them a key role in the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands”. The total economic impact of yacht clubs on the regional economy, the study points out, represents an added value of the order of 209.6 million euros for a measured and estimated production volume of 626.9 million euros. These activities, as a whole, involve the employment of 3,883 people (of which 1,132 are direct jobs).

The item for salaries and social security stands at 14.7 million, an amount to which must be added the 9.7 million that these associations pay to the authorities in terms of fees and charges for the occupation of the public port space. The sum of its annual budget amounts to 56.2 million euros. The analysis of the Department of Economics and Business of the UIB represents the first scientific measurement of the activity carried out by the nautical clubs of the Balearic Islands. According to Miquel Suñer, it is an “x-ray” that demonstrates the strategic nature of these entities that were “pioneers” of what is now known as the nautical sector and that, unlike the rest of marinas, are characterized by lacking profit-making: “All the resources generated by our activity are reinvested in the maintenance of the facilities, sports teams and sailing schools”, said Suñer.

The president of the ACNB is “very satisfied” with the result of the study, since it has allowed to establish “the true dimension” of yacht clubs in the social and economic context of the Balearic Islands. “We knew that what we do is important, but we needed to be able to sum it up in one figure. Thanks to this study, from now on we can say that we are 1.9% of the Gross Domestic Product of the Balearic Islands, and feel very proud of the work we do “, explained Suñer, who has encouraged the rest of the nautical operators to measure” its muscle ”with similar studies so that the sector as a whole has objective elements on its relevance and can be recognized“ in its proper measure ”by public administrations.

The nautical clubs of the Balearic Islands manage 8,279 moorings, out of a total of 20,272 total (moorings on the 7th list). The vast majority of these vessels are less than 10 meters in length (5,499) and correspond to users of the social call or middle class. The ACNB represents 12,777 members divided into 24 clubs spread throughout the Balearic geography.Other outstanding figures of the social function carried out by nautical and maritime are the 7,748 students who host their sailing and canoeing schools and the organization of 336 competitions and 150 sociocultural events in the last three years.

Dr. María Antonia García stressed that the report is a “strategic element” for the development of the nautical sector in the face of the pandemic and highlights “the important work they carry out” in the sports, social and economic fields.

Dr. Rafael Crespí has emphasized that the study “is not an exercise in magic to show off some figures”; rather the opposite: the calculations, carried out in accordance with the standard academic methodology for measuring impacts, have been “conservative and with a downward bias.” One of the most outstanding conclusions of the work, according to Crespí, is the multiplier effect of the activity that takes place in the clubs: each euro that is generated in these facilities is transformed into 3.89 euros.

Asked by the media attending the press conference, the manager of the Association of Nautical Clubs of the Balearic Islands (ACNB), Rafael Palmer, has assured that it is still early to know the undoubted effect of the crisis derived from Covid-19 on the clubs nautical. “The season – he explained – begins at Easter and lasts until September, with the busiest period being from July 15 to August 15. The impact in 2021 will largely depend on the epidemiological situation and the vaccination campaign. Also of how other sectors that are struggling, such as charter, face the season.

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