ICOMIA World Marinas Conference Success


The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference at the Tivoli Conference Centre in Vilamoura, Portugal finished yesterday evening and is being hailed as a huge success.

Hosted by the Portuguese Association of Ports and Marinas (APPR), the three-day event was attended by over 350 delegates from the international marina community and featured speakers, meetings, discussions and forums related to best-practice in the marina world.

Speakers covered wide-ranging topics from culture, economy and marketing to specific business interest advice on things like financing, communications, regulations and taxation. A key focus throughout was the technology available to make the operations of marinas more efficient, whilst at the same time providing a better customer experience. The concept of Smart Marinas was discussed at length, with the conclusion that whilst technology is a great enabler, it is no substitute for smart people providing exceptional customer experiences.

The second area of focus was about how innovations in technology and sustainability are helping to drive growth and preserve the industry. The final presentation at the conference from NEOM’s Richard Bush was an insightful view of the developments within the Red Sea and in particular the ambitious plans of NEOM, to build a marina ecosystem of the future, completely sustainable and without any hinderance of legacy infrastructure or ways of working.

ICOMIA’s President Darren Vaux was then given the challenge of summing up the conference – a small matter of condensing 72 presentations and discussion groups, three marina visits and an engaging social scene, into one ten minute conclusion.

He concluded that the importance of technology is essential to improve the customer experience and adaptability being a key facet as we move into the future, as well as the importance of sustainability and sustainable goals.

In closing, conference organisers Isolete Correia of APPR and Martinho Fortunato of Marina de Lagos thanked the delegates, who have come from over forty different nations, for their attendance at the event. It only remained for them to hand the baton for the next World Marinas Conference to Venice in 2025.