The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) World Marinas Conference starts today (9 October 2023) and runs until 11 October in Vilamoura, Portugal.

Hosted by The Portuguese Association of Ports and Marinas (APPR) at the Tivoli Vilamoura Conference Centre, the three-day conference has a full schedule of speakers, talks, meetings, round-tables and networking opportunities covering a wide range of subjects important to the growth and future of the industry.

The conference brings together not only marine leaders from around the globe but also government agency representatives from various nations to discuss some of the industry’s most significant issues and opportunities.

The event kicks off today with a keynote speech from Correct Craft CEO, Bill Yeargin, on the ‘Economics of Culture’. The speech is being followed by various round-table discussions on topics such as the state of the industry worldwide, sustainability and operational challenges.

Yeargin will be speaking on how he and the Correct Craft team view the industry and how they are facing its biggest challenges. “I am honoured to have the opportunity to speak at the ICOMIA Conference,” he says. “At Correct Craft, we distribute into nearly seventy countries and are intentional about staying updated regarding global developments and trends.“

Day two has a more relaxed atmosphere with a marina tour of the three best marinas in the Algarve region of Portugal; Marina de Lagos, Marina de Albufeira and Vilamoura. The evening event is a gala dinner with entertainment, awards and plenty of networking opportunities.

The final day of the 2023 ICOMIA World Marinas Conference features discussions on various industry-specific topics, such as financing, tax and marketing, with a keynote speech from Yiannis Kalogerakis on AI and ‘Smart’ futures and a final discussion on large-scale innovations from NEOM’s Richard Bush.

Oliver Dörschuck, CEO at long-time event sponsors D-Marin, adds: “The IWMC is a global event that we are passionate about supporting as part of our longstanding commitment to driving industry growth and innovation. It was a natural partnership, given our ambitions, and an ideal place to share ideas and discuss.

“I am particularly keen to provide insights on major industry trends in three areas: the creation of unique customer and digital experiences; evolution of partnerships between marinas and across the sector; and the need to build better marinas for today and future generations.”

Earlier this month, ICOMIA Marinas Group (IMG) produced a Smart Marinas Guide, produced by IMG members, to assist marinas in navigating the digital transformation of the industry.

The guide has been produced by IMG members and looks at the future of marinas, why the digital transformation matters, why everyone is talking about it and what marinas can start doing now to prepare themselves.

Main image: Gouvia Marina, courtesy of D-Marin/Theo Meddelton

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