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Local Businesses Suffer From Fewer Superyachts In Popular French Ports

By Oliver Pearson   8 August 2017

With notable politicians penning an urgent letter to President Emmanuel Macron, the situation in France has reached the point that local businesses are now feeling the effects of fewer superyachts in the surrounding waters.

Compounding the increasing tensions in France, a number of prohibitive new laws and the VAT on fuel has had a trickle down effect on the businesses which operate around the mainland.

Indeed, with it becoming less and less viable for owners to base their superyachts in the region due to the high price of marine diesel and various taxes on the crew, there are less visitors spending money around the towns in the South of France. 

Whilst the gathering of large motor yachts was once a familiar sight in the likes of St Tropez and along the Cote d’Azur, recent changes to French law has meant that many owners have elected to base their vessels elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

Because of this, the signatories of the letter to President Macron have insisted that "the gravity of the economic situation of the yachting sector in the Provence-Alps-Riviera region makes it necessary for us to appeal for your direct intervention".

Along with tough tax regulations placed on superyacht crew, there is also a strict 20% VAT on fuel sales in France, making it expensive enough for owners to seek out alternative marinas in nearby countries in which to fill up.

Proof of this can be seen in the alarming 50% fall in sales made by the four largest marine fuel vendors over summer.

For further evidence of how superyachts are spending less time in France, it's also worth considering how the St Tropez marina has marked a 30% loss on revenue since the beginning of the year.

In exchange for French marinas, superyachts have since been drawn to the equally beautiful waters of Ibiza, Turkey, and Greece.

In terms of private yacht charter vacations in France, the departue of superyachts from local marinas will mean higher delivery fees for guests keen to experience the likes of St Tropez. This being said, with some superyachts remaining in nearby countries, it will still be possible to cruise around France.

The superyachts which once formed a spectacle in France are now being tempted by the cruising grounds around the Mediterranean

In terms of how high taxes deter superyachts from operating in France, it's important to remember that contributions from crew have jumped from 15% of their wages to 55%. 

YachtCharterFleet explained this change in legislation in an earlier article which asked the question: ‘Are the French Authorities Shooting Themselves in the Foot?’.

Of course, all of these issues, if left unchallenged, could have an undesirable effect on charter vacations in France- for more information on how these changes will shape the future of charter vacations in the area, be sure to read our piece on how: ‘New French Law Could Have Major Impact On Superyacht Charter Industry’.

In order to find out more regarding the cruising grounds of France, please speak with your preferred charter broker.

Alternatively, take a look at all of the crewed superyachts which are available for charter in France.


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