The Board of Directors of the Balearics Ports (Ports IB) unanimously approved on July 1st 2014 not to go ahead with the planned transfer into indirect management of a number of regional ports with leisure marina facilities. The meeting was chaired by the director general of the Ports and Airports, Antonio Deudero, and also attended by the manager of the regional port entities, David Gómez.
With this decision the Port Authority has agreed to put on hold the administrative process of authorising private concessions to occupy and commercially manage the port installations of Colónia Sant Jordi, Cala Bona, Porto Cristo, Fornells, Sant Antoni de Portmany and Andratx.
Historically some port facilities in The Balearics have been under direct control of Ports IB, and others are run under a commercial lease concession for an agreed number of years at a pre determined annual rent. This means that the ‘concessionaires’ of these ‘indirectly managed’ locations are free to manage the moorings and marina infrastructure commercially and ‘for profit!’
Many believe that the ‘indirect management concessions.’ are a better way to attract nautical tourism revenue through commercial exploitation, and have pushed hard for a change to 100% indirectly managed ports.
Part of the rationalisation behind the decision to suspend such action, is because the Ministry of Tourism and Sports is waiting for the results of a study which enable the drafting of a blueprint for successful future development of all sporting, recreational, fishing and commercial sectors.
Not everyone is aware that there are actually two port authorities overseeing the total port infrastructure across the four Balearic Islands with the Ports referred to as those of ‘Special Interest’, being under the control the National Port Authority reporting to Madrid. These five ports are Palma, Alcudia, Ibiza, Mahon and La Savina.
No doubt any overall plans for the future will involve a further examination of the possibilities to completely transform Palma, the ‘Jewel in the Crown.’ The port area there has had a project plan on ice for several years with a 1 billion euro price tag. This would see the cruise liner terminals relocated from west to east and positioned in front of the cathedral, whilst the shipyard / superyacht refit activities would move form east to west, away from the old port/cathedral area.