ICOMIA Wraps Up Successful Event

The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference at the Tivoli Conference Centre in Vilamoura, Portugal, is being hailed as a 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 practices 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, while at the same time providing a better customer experience. The concept of Smart Marinas was discussed at length, with the conclusion that while technology is a great enabler, it is no substitute for smart people providing exceptional customer experiences.  

The second area of focus was how innovations in technology and sustainability help 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 hindrance of legacy infrastructure or ways of working. ICOMIA’s  

President Darren Vaux was 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 10-minute conclusion. He concluded that the importance of technology is essential to improve the customer experience and adaptability is a key facet as marinas move into the future, as well as the importance of sustainability and sustainable goals. In closing, conference organizers Isolete Correia of APPR and Martinho Fortunato of Marina de Lagos thanked the delegates, who had come from over 40 different nations, for their attendance at the event.  

Sign up for the Marina Dock Age newsletter.Our newsletter delivers the latest news straight to your inbox including breaking news, our exclusive content covering the marina and boatyard industry, new products, and much more.