According to the Hellenic Legislation (Law 4256/2014) as pleasure boat is defined any yacht with overall length more than 7 meters, sailing yacht or motorboat, which according to its technical specifications, it is possible to be used for pleasure travels. Αs industry of the professional sea tourism with pleasure boats it is determined the group of those companies, which regardless of their legal form, own yachts for business exploitation (ship owners). The business exploitation concerns mainly the chartering of the yachts with specific terms to customers (charterers). On the other hand, the disposal of the privately – owned yachts to third parties (for the renewal of the fleet) is the last operation act of the business exploitation.
The professional sea tourism with pleasure boats began in the early 70’s in Greece but in fact started to develop in the early 80’s since it had been instituted the appropriate legal framework with law 438/1976. Greece was the first Mediterranean country in which the sea tourism began to develop. France, Turkey, Italy and the Balkan countries of the Former Yugoslavia followed later on.
The sea tourism was expanded mainly in the countries of Mediterranean because of their morphology (number of islands) and the good weather conditions that allow such activities for 8 months per year.
Greece is the only country that relatively has the most comparative merits as regards the sea tourism versus the rest Mediterranean countries because of the diversity of its waters, its 6.000 islands, the 16.000 km of coasts, the high percentages of sunny days and the alternate landscapes.
Nowadays, this kind of tourism except the aforementioned geographical areas has been developed especially in Caribbean and Australia.
The operation of the Yachting Industry is directly connected to the Tourist Port industry. A tourist port is defined as the land and sea area, which is allocated for the moorings or docking of yachts either on a permanent or transit basis. The land area includes all the buildings installations and other facilities (dry docking, technical services), while the sea area includes the quays, pontoons (either floating or not) and floating machines docks.
The first marinas in Greece were created in Vouliagmeni in 1963, in Zea in 1966 and in Aretsou in 1973. These facilities were constructed by the G.N.T.O. (Greek National Tourism Organization) in cooperation with the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the R.Y.C.G. (Royal Yacht Club of Greece), which was later renamed to Yacht Club of Greece (Y.C.G.). There are four categories of tourist ports, defined as follows:
- Marinas provide all the necessary facilities and services for the full support of yachts, such as yacht repairs, electricity, water, telephone, re-fuelling station etc.
- Hotel ports are located in front of hotels with more than 200 rooms.
- Protected bays provide basic facilities and elementary services to yachts so as to be in harmony with the environment.
- Moorings are found within bays and have limited facilities so as not to destroy the landscape.
The Group’s presence in the sector of tourist port exploitation began in 1995, with the participation of the Parent Company in the share capital of a public company which undertook, following a tender, the lease and operation of the Gouvia marina in Corfu, implementing an investment plan to upgrade its infrastructure. In the same way, the marinas of Kalamata (1998), Lefkas (1999) and Zea (2002) were included in the investment portfolio of the Parent Company. Today, after the restructuring of its investment portfolio, which brought significant capital gains (goodwill), the Parent Company owns the entire share capital of the company “Marina Kalamatas Tourism Sole Shareholder SA”, which exploits Kalamata’s Marina.
At the same time, Kiriacoulis Marinas SA, provides consulting services in matters of investment planning, organization, management and promotion of tourist ports.