The Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi is currently facing a shortage of berths for yachts, according to a report from business daily RBK. Representatives from yacht clubs in Sochi, which was previously an Olympic host city, have stated that they have run out of available spaces for vessels until at least the end of the summer. Over 90% of marinas in the area are already fully occupied, with several reasons being cited for the shortage.
One of the reasons for the lack of berths is the inflow of luxury boats from the European Union (EU) due to Western sanctions. These sanctions have led to an increase in the number of luxury boats being brought into Russia, putting additional strain on the already limited infrastructure for hosting such vessels. Yury Vladimirov, the head of Morport Sochi, explained, “We’re facing 95% occupancy. There are spots for yachts, but very few. And there are no places for boats up to 12 meters.”
In addition to the influx of luxury boats from the EU, industry players have also highlighted the lack of relevant infrastructure in Russia as a contributing factor to the shortage of berths. Members of Russia’s Association for Yacht Tourism Development have emphasized the need for modern ports and marinas specifically designed for small vessels, given the growing demand for yachting in the country. Olga Shezbukhova, the board chairman at Alliance Marin Development, stated, “There’s an acute shortage of places across the Azov and the Black Sea coast. There are about 500-600 parking spaces along the entire coast without full service. According to our estimates, current demand is at least 10,000.”
To address this issue, the Russian government approved a program for the development of yacht tourism by 2030. This program aims to construct a network of marinas and yachting areas equipped with the necessary infrastructure and services. The goal is to meet the increasing demand for yachting in Russia and provide adequate facilities for yacht owners and enthusiasts.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that Western sanctions have resulted in the seizure of more than two dozen superyachts owned by wealthy Russians worldwide. The total value of these confiscated Russian luxury vessels is estimated to be over $4 billion. This further emphasizes the significance of the shortage of berths in Sochi, as wealthy yacht owners are seeking alternative locations to dock their vessels.
In conclusion, the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi is currently experiencing a shortage of berths for yachts. This is primarily due to an inflow of luxury boats from the EU as a result of Western sanctions and a lack of relevant infrastructure. To address this issue, the Russian government has approved a program for the development of yacht tourism, aiming to increase the number of marinas and yachting areas with the necessary facilities. The shortage of berths highlights the growing demand for yachting in Russia and the need for adequate infrastructure to support this industry.