“Even more events related to the sea and the land.” Uberto Paoletti, class of 1979, from Rome, betrays his nature as a competitive sailor when we ask him what he will focus on in the future for the development of the Marina di Loano of which he has just become director succeeding Marco Cornacchia. “We have received several requests from shipowners asking us to organize events of an amateur as well as professional nature, and we certainly want to accommodate them.”
A “velacentric” navy? “A Marina attentive to the needs of its guests that, together with its Yacht Club, wants to promote sea culture from every angle. We organize, among other things, courses for the management of health emergencies on the high seas in collaboration with the Red Cross of Loano, we collaborate with the Cima Foundation, which has been involved in environmental monitoring and defense of the marine environment on our coasts for years. Commitment to the environment is at the top of our values. Marina di Loano moreover boasts six consecutive years of Blue Flag status.”
SOME (POSITIVE) NUMBERS
Paoletti “inherited” the reins of a company that, data in hand, is one of the largest in the Savona area with 980 total berths, four bathing establishments and a total area of 36 hectares: “During the summer period, the facility employs about eighty people. Not to mention the excellent economic impact on the area (restaurants, stores, inland trips). I accepted the position in a climate of great professional continuity, my predecessor Cornacchia worked very well.” During 2017, 1,016 boats stopped at Marina di Loano. During 2016 there were 887 transits: a net increase of 15 percent. From January 1 to December 31, 2017, boaters who chose Marina di Loano as their boat’s “home” were numerous: ninety, in fact, new contracts were signed. Of these, as many as twenty-three involved boats larger than 40 meters. The employment rate increased by 10 percent.
THE RECIPE FOR ATTRACTING BOATERS
What enables a marina to be attractive to shipowners? “In our case, the first factor is safety for the boats stationed inside the Marina: total protection from the south thanks to a professionally built soffolta and a nearly 60-meter-wide breakwater that protect the Marina even in the most extreme weather conditions. On the north side, the mountains provide adequate shelter. Of course, it’s not just about that: I think the decision to have opted for ‘fingers’ instead of traditional mooring traps is a great convenience for sea-goers; not to mention the obsessive attention to detail in every kind of service we offer, from mooring assistance to black water discharge, from guarding to Wi-Fi. Did you know, by the way, that by connecting to our columns, you can access digital terrestrial television via cable?“. The so-called details that make a difference. And attracting shipowners from abroad and neighboring France: “More and more French people are coming to visit. It should be said in this regard that, as far as super yachts are concerned, we have also been benefited by the heavy taxation recently applied in transalpine territory“.
BOATING CODE? EXCELLENT!
But is the famous crisis, we ask Paoletti, now behind us? “Not totally, but the recreational sector is slowly and steadily recovering, the market is objectively moving, and the challenge, especially for a marina like ours, is on value for money.” Instead, here’s what Paoletti thinks of the new Boating Code: “They did very well, I think Ucina did a great job in the interest of both boaters and operators. And it was not easy!”
EVEN MORE TIES TO THE TERRITORY
Having theoretically solved the problems with the new code, what does the tourist port still need to grow further? “More cooperation is needed between public agencies (municipalities, provinces, regions) and private ports. Because behind our coasts are a hinterland and many excellences to be discovered. Increasing the connection between these two realities I believe is the focal point: the port must not be a cathedral in the desert but must establish a connection with the local area. Let me give you an example: last Christmas we hosted an ice skating rink in our parking lot. It was a great success. We need to keep this up“.