ICOMIA World Marinas Conference 2023
The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference 2023 has officially begun, taking place from today until October 11 at the picturesque Vilamoura Marina on Portugal’s Algarve coast. This biennial event, themed ‘Big Challenges, Big Opportunities, and Big Decisions,’ is being jointly organized by the Portuguese Association of Ports and Marinas (APPR) and the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), marking its first-ever occurrence in Portugal.
Vilamoura Marina, with its impressive 825 berths and ongoing expansion plans, holds the prestigious Five Gold Anchors accreditation and stands as Portugal’s largest marina, providing a fitting backdrop for this prestigious event.
The WMC 2023 agenda is divided into two days of insightful presentations, interspersed with a day of marina tours along the breathtaking Algarve coastline. These tours will include visits to three local marinas: Marina de Vilamoura, Marina de Lagos, and Marina de Albufeira.
Day One, themed “Operations and Sustainability,” commences with opening welcomes from key figures, including APPR’s Isolete Correia, ICOMIA president Darren Vaux, and Portuguese Minister of Agriculture and Food, Maria do Céu Antunes. A compelling opening keynote by Bill Yeargin, President and CEO of Correct Craft, will explore ‘The Economics of Culture.’ Subsequent conference sessions will delve into various aspects, including sustainable solutions for the future, operational challenges and mitigations, and identifying niches in the marina world.
Day two is reserved for the Marina Tour Programme and attendees will gather for a gala dinner, which includes the prestigious Golden Cleat Marina Award presentation. This award acknowledges outstanding individuals for their lifetime dedication and contributions to the global marina community, with award categories including lifetime dedication and sustainability and innovation.
Day Three, titled “Technology into a Smart Future,” features an industry breakfast focusing on dry stack developments. Oliver Dörschuck, CEO of D-Marin, presents insights on industry trends, and Dr. Yiannis Kalogerakis, CEO of JMK Anthropocentric Training, discusses a “Smart Future” encompassing AI, smart technology, and smart marina management. The day continues with discussions on tech start-up needs, advanced communications and marketing for marinas, and adapting to new propulsion systems.
Alongside the conference, a bustling exhibition area hosts over a dozen exhibitors, showcasing marinas, operators, associations, service providers, consultants, equipment manufacturers, and more.
The success of WMC 2023 is made possible by the generous support of sponsors, including Vilamoura Marina, D-Marin, Lindley, Correct Craft, and Marina World magazine.
Vilamoura Marina, a trailblazer in Portugal’s marina industry since 1974, serves as a hub for national recreational boating, offering comprehensive services, a fully-equipped shipyard, and a professional sailing training center. The marina has been honored with the “Best International Marina” award by The Yacht Harbours Association at the Southampton International Boat Show, a testament to its excellence in the field, having received this accolade seven times.
The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference 2023 promises to be an enriching and illuminating event, bringing together experts, leaders, and enthusiasts to address the significant challenges and opportunities in the marina industry on both global and local scales. Stay tuned for updates and insights from this exciting gathering!