SERVICES

Last chance to save Genoa Boat Show

Genoa - For the umpteenth time, prospects for an agreement between UCINA and Nautica Italiana, the two organizations which currently represent Italy’s leisure boating sector, went up in smoke.

Genoa - No peace for Italy’s leisure boating world; it seems the sector would rather engage in battle within its national territory, than emerging victorious having beaten competition from foreign companies. Ironically, most of the brands quarrelling with each other are precisely the ones representing shipbuilding, a sector often singled out globally as an example of Made in Italy’s excellence. And the outlook for the Genoa Boat Show isn’t so good either, as the fault lines in the boating industry are causing problems and damaging the image of the brand. Yesterday, for the umpteenth time, prospects for an agreement between UCINA and Nautica Italiana, the two organizations which currently represent Italy’s leisure boating sector, went up in smoke. The two associations have been mired in dispute for months. Italy’s Undersecretary at the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE), Ivan Scalfarotto has been attempting to mediate, but in a meeting with Giovanni Toti, the governor of Liguria, he reiterated that unless the factions come to an agreement MISE will not release public funds for Genoa’s Salone Nautico, the boat fair organized by UCINA (but which the company Fiera di Genova owns rights to the brand), and neither for a similar event to be held in Viareggio, which Nautica Italiana is organizing in Tuscany, starting in spring 2017. “We fully agree with the government and with undersecretary Scalfarotto’s position,” said the governor of Liguria, “and I‘m surprised that the two associations are unable to agree to work together.”

“I will call a meeting in Genoa with those in charge there one last time,” Toti said, “and try to make them see reason. It would be madness if Ucina and Nautica Italiana are still not willing to come to an agreement.” Scalfarotto reaffirmed the willingness of MISE to support the two boating events organized by the two associations, but on condition that both parties show willingness to cooperate. The two events - the Genoa fair focusing on a broader range of boats, while the other more on large yachts - should also refrain from competing with each other, while at the same time both associations should jointly participate at each boat fair. “Until a few days ago, it was UCINA which maintained a tougher stance,” stressed Scalfarotto, “but now it’s Nautica Italiana being stubborn. Regardless, the main point is for an agreement to be signed, for the good of the entire sector.” During his visit to Genoa, Scalfarotto also met with the city’s mayor, Marco Doria. Doria said he “shares the government’s goal,” but added that if no agreement between the associations should be forthcoming, “the municipality is ready to do its part and come up with a new plan for the Salone Nautico through the company Fiera di Genova.” Yesterday evening UCINA released a statement: “Protecting the Boat Show in Genoa is uppermost in our minds.”

Pressed for time?

Get the best news of the week in your inbox

Subscribe ››