Nautical tourism is an increasingly popular way to combine love of sailing and boating with vacation and holiday activities. First defined as an industry segment in Europe and South America, it has since caught on in the United States and the Pacific Rim.
Not only is nautical tourism an enjoyable way to see unique parts of the world, it is also a very profitable industry. Many tourists who enjoy sailing combine water travel with other activities. Supplying the equipment and accessories for those activities has spawned businesses for those purposes. With many nautical enthusiasts living on board their vessels even in port, nautical tourists bring demand for a variety of goods and services. Marinas developed especially for nautical tourists have been built in Europe, South America and Australia.
Tourist services available at marinas catering to nautical tourists include:
- Leasing of berths for sailing vessels and nautical tourists who live on board.
- Leasing of sailing vessels for holiday and recreational use (charter, cruising and similar),
- Reception, safe-guarding and maintenance of sailing vessels.
- Provision of stock (water, fuel, supplies, spare parts, equipment and similar).
- Preparation and keeping sailing vessels in order.
- Providing information to nautical enthusiasts (weather forecasts, nautical guides etc.)
- Leasing of water scooters, jet skis, and other water equipment.
Nautical Tourism In Europe and Along the Mediterranean Coast
Among the more interesting locations frequented by nautical tourists, the Croatian coast offers services at more than 50 ports, touting it as Mediterranean as it once was. Croatia's efforts have been so successful they have been offered to the tourism industry as a model for sustainable nautical tourism. During this year's Adriatic Boat Show the official ceremony of opening the construction site of marina for mega-yachts has been held. Marina Mandalina & Yacht Club, situated in Šibenik, in 2011 will be able to accept 79 yachts up to 100 meters in length and provide them a complete service. Italy has gone to great lengths to attract boating tourists to its ports as well.
Nautical Tourism in the Pacific
Australia has invested $1.5 billion in facilities designed to attract nautical tourists and promote development of nautical tourism as a segment of the tourist trade.
Nautical Tourism in South America
A growing worldwide industry segment, nautical tourism has become popular in South America. The Brazilian Ministry of Tourism has a website devoted to the subject. Puerto Rico has seen its share of growth in nautical tourism as well. Not to be outdone, the Chilean Economic Development Agency has launched the Chilean Patagonia Nautical Tourism Program to develop and attract nautical tourists to the Chilean coast.
Nautical Tourism in the United States
Nautical tourism is big business, even in the United States. In the Southeast, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, a meandering river and canal system that traverses Alabama and Mississippi linking the Tennessee River with the Gulf of Mexico, has become a favorite boating trail for nautical tourists who want a diverse route with a scenic view. Originally conceived as an alternate shipping route for barges destined for the Midwest, the route proved too awkward for large tows. However, boating enthusiasts discovered it as a great way to see Middle-America. Stops along the way include Mobile, Alabama, Demopolis, Alabama, and Amory and Columbus in Mississippi. Traveling north from the Gulf, boaters can follow the Tennessee River its intersection with the Ohio and travel a circuitous route back to the Gulf by way of New Orleans.
Likewise, the Intracoastal Waterway system, which stretches from Texas to New Jersey, has long provided nautical tourists with a well-marked channel and an inside passage that allows boaters to travel from southern Texas up the eastern seaboard without having to venture onto the high seas. Using this route, boaters can stop at Galveston, Texas, any number of towns in southern Louisiana, including New Orleans. Farther west, Apalachicola, Florida provides a glimpse of Florida the way it used to be.
- See, Natchez, Dan, Nautical Tourism: Great for the Boater and a Revenue Center Card, online at http://www.dsnainc.com/Syndicated%20Column/PDFs/Nautical%20Tourism.pdf
- See entry at the official Croatia Tourism website online at http://gb.croatia.hr/TourismPLUS/Entry.aspx?idEntry=480&idSubEntry=482&idDocument=467
- See, A. Munitić, V. Vidučić, F. Mitrović, and L. Vidučić, Sustainable Development of Nautical Tourism: The Case of Croatia(ACTA Press), found online at http://www.actapress.com/PaperInfo.aspx?PaperID=31847&reason=500
- See, http://www.italy-yachtcharter.com/nautical.asp
- See, Shell Harbour article on line at http://nauticaltourism.com/
- See, http://www.braziltour.com/nautical/html/en/home.php
- See, Guadalupe-Fajardo, Evelyn,Megayacht Business Booms in Nautical Tourism Industry, (Puerto Rico Herald, July 11, 2002) found online at http://puertorico-herald.org/issues/2002/vol6n28/CBMegayacht-en.html
- See, http://www.chilepros.com/sailing_in_the_chilean_patagonia_an_investement_opportunity
- See, the official Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway tourisim website online at http://tenntom.sam.usace.army.mil/Recreation.html
- See official website for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway online at http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Technical%20Services/Operations%20Branch/atlantic%20intercoastal%20waterway/homepage.asp