Maltese flags flew high in Monaco’s harbour last weekend, as superyachts from the world over sailed into the principality for the event dubbed “the pinnacle of the luxury yacht calendar”.
Following an absence in 2020 and a restrained show in 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monaco Yacht Show returned to its full splendour in the last weekend of September.
Inaugurated in 1991 and spread over four days, it has established itself as the leading superyacht show – by far the largest exhibition of its kind.
Since the last full-scale event, Malta’s cachet as a welcoming jurisdiction for high value mobile assets has risen, with 2020 seeing it become the world’s largest superyacht registry.
Fittingly, a sizeable delegation from Malta was present, aiming to showcase Malta’s potential in the yachting and maritime industries.
“The fluttering of the many Maltese maritime ensigns with the emblematic eight-pointed cross is a sight to behold,” says Michael Mifsud, CEO of Yachting Malta. “The significant number of Maltese-flagged superyachts that graced the quays of Monaco’s harbour brings immense pride to Malta.”
He adds that the country has a strong presence at all the conferences and conventions during the show, where Malta was well-represented no only by the number of delegates but through contributions by moderators, panellists, and experts.
“It is evident that, like in many other sectors, we punch well above our weight,” says Mr Mifsud.
Not simply a flag and jurisdiction exposition, the Monaco Yacht Show “brings to the fore the standing Malta’s yachting sector enjoys on the international scene”, he continues, noting it “ties in exceptionally” with the steps currently being taken to draft a new superyacht policy, for which a steering committee was appointed last week.
Present along with the Malta Ship Registry at the Darse Sud enclosure were representatives of several Maltese industries which had their dedicated stands offering a multitude of services and attracting a hive of activity with a constant flow of enquiries from yacht owners, brokers, skippers, and captains.
The Superyacht Industry Network Malta, supported by Yachting Malta, was also present at the Darse Sud pavilion.
“Having a substantial Maltese cluster nearby is very beneficial and highlights our agility and our ‘yes we can’ approach,” Mr Mifsud explains. “The Maltese offering is ever-evolving, with new facets like crew training establishments and innovative connectivity providers mingling and networking amongst the market leaders in the field. The networking and business development opportunities were the key important objectives of the Maltese contingent.”
In a press release, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia remarked that these results were achieved thanks to the efforts of all stakeholders, as well as the commitment of the personnel at Transport Malta.
“These positive results encourage us to work harder to ensure that Malta continues to benefit from the associated positioning within these international sectors and we continue to consolidate as an international centre of maritime excellence in the Mediterranean,” the Minister said.
He also encouraged as many stakeholders as possible to participate in the drafting of the first ever National Policy for Yachting.
The new policy aims to harness the vast positive impact that this industry can leave on Malta’s economy, says Mr Mifsud, who believes that the country’s potential in this sector reaches far beyond the selling of superyacht registrations and the fiscal incentives that go with it. He notes that Malta’s ship repair skills coupled with its bi-lingual population have long enabled most foreign yachtsmen to feel at home in its harbours and facilities.
“This potential has been reiterated by many over the years. Now it is time to put it into action.”
Mr Mifsud says that Yachting Malta is putting in “strong efforts” to attract potential superyacht events to Malta.
“This is being done by networking with key players in the industry and giving them first-hand information as to what Malta has to offer in terms of the latest sustainable trends, expertise, and one of the most scenic locations in the Mediterranean.
“The Monaco Yacht Show is the perfect occasion where Malta can showcase its potential, and this is Yachting Malta’s primary aim. The enthusiasm with which Malta was greeted augurs well for the industry, and Yachting Malta will continue with this momentum,” he concludes.
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