Santorini planning for a marina to bolster its maritime tourism

Santorini authorities are planning a maritime infrastructure overhaul as the southern Aegean island, one of the Mediterranean’s most popular, braces for a further increase in tourism arrivals, including cruise ships.

The island’s mayor, Anastasios Nikolaos Zorzos, told Kathimerini that procedures are completed for the local authority to seek an investor in 2014 for the construction of a marina. He already has in his hands a provisional study for a marina at the spot of Monolithos with a capacity for 350 boats, including 37 super-yacht slots (for vessels over 25 meters long).

The budget for this project, which will serve to boost maritime tourism in the southern Aegean, is estimated at 24 million euros.

The new marina will be able to serve passing boats that are normally based in Attica or in Turkey, 16- to 18-meter long yachts rented from companies based in the Cyclades, the Dodecanese and in Attica, major yachts of 35-50 meters that cruise the Aegean and yachts whose owners have property on Santorini. It will be situated some five kilometers from Fyra and 2.5 km from the island’s airport. The plan is for the coverage of 90,000 square meters of water surface and for 28,500 sq.m. of land.

Besides the marina, Santorini authorities have also obtained provisional studies for the construction of alternative docks for vessels at Columbo and at the fishing port of Vlychada.

The mayor expects the number of tourists this year to grow by 20 percent from 2012, reaching up to 1.8 million, as the incoming flow continues. From today up to November 24, Santorini anticipates the arrival of 25 cruise ships, i.e. nearly one a day.

The latest available data on the island’s tourism for 2013 show that in the year to end-September 638,117 cruise passengers visited Santorini. Arrivals by ferries amounted to 167,979 in the first half of the year. Domestic arrivals by air reached 170,882 in the year to October 15, while international air arrivals came up to 243,589. The local airport reported the landing of 1,041 private jets in the same period.