“Help us or we will collapse.” Sardinian charter crisis and proposals


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Assuming (and not conceding) that the charter world will restart this summer, the question remains how to prevent the collapse of the industry especially in the islands. Sicily and Sardinia (already hit by a 50 percent drop in bookings!) may suffer much more from the coronavirus because they can only be reached by sea or air, and many charterers, concerned about transportation on “crowded” means such as planes and ships, may turn to other choices.

In fact, Sardinian charter operators issued a joint statement in which they make their voices heard and appeal to institutions to recognize boat rentals as a “receptive-tourist” activity. Here it is:

Sardinian charter crisis: “Help us or we will collapse”

“The Nautical Charter sector in Sardinia is in incredible need of help to get through this delicate time, and we need the Region of Sardinia to develop a direct line of communication with us to create an appropriate survival strategy.

What is set forth below is the situation in which the Nautical Charter sector in the Island finds itself today, and it sums up the thoughts of all of us operators facing this difficult historical moment.

What is happening in the Tourism sector and in particular the Nautical Charter sector in Sardinia ?

Right now we have to cope with the large losses already materialized and that will be suffered in the coming months due to the crisis generated by the coronavirus; Beach Tourism in Sardinia (that of the pleasure craft, marinas and respective charter operators involved in renting and chartering, traffic to neighboring islands, dinghies, etc.) needs urgent measures to cushion as much as possible the effects of lost revenue.

Some data:

about 300 bare-boat sailing vessels, 350 for hire, 650 dinghies and boats, in addition to charter boats over 17 meters operate in Sardinia (data from confcommercio and assonautica). All of this involves about 180 enterprises and 3,000 employees.

Economic impact:

The size and ‘economic impact inherent in the “Sailboat Charter” segment alone in Sardinia is summarized as follows:

– 30 companies

– 300 boats

– 2500 beds (equivalent to about 1200 rooms)

– 125 direct employees + 125 indirect employees = TOT 250 WORKERS ( families ).

– Average fill: 18 weeks/boat

– Average crew: 5/6 people

– Average inflow: 1,800 people/week

– Total flow/season: 32,400 people

– TOTAL HOTEL PRESENCE (head/night): 226,800

– Average weekly rental rate/unit: € 2500.00 (€ 59.00/head/night)

– Average expenditure/unit on ground services and accessories: € 2500.00


– Incidence of ground services turnover of charter bases: 50%



The only real certainty is that the drop in bookings is around 50 percent to which an additional 30 percent is added due to the various contracts already moved to 2021. This means that our industry will have 80 percent collapse and possible permanent job losses.

This year we already have cancellations until mid-July, and our 90 percent of our clients are foreign and most likely will not be able to make the trip because at the moment it is not known what the restrictions on people’s travel and travel will be


Recognition of the Nautical Charter as a “receptive-tourist” activity.


Charter Companies have the problem of VAT which will increase from 11 % to 22%; it is essential that the Sardinian Region integrate them into the tourism sector of which they are obviously an integral part with which they are excluded due to an Ateco code (77.21.02 ) that contains the word “DIPORTO” which implies and restricts the use of the unit to recreational purposes only”-the definition of tourism is “travel and stay for recreational purposes.” On this point it is crucial that we are recognized for who we really are. Without such recognition, we have no chance of drawing on benefits of any kind provided instead for an industry that belongs to us in its own right as tourism. It is therefore necessary for boat rental to be assimilated to that of Marina Resorts subject to 10 % VAT.

Moreover, we cannot increase the price list by 11 percent (the extra vat required) because we will not be absolutely competitive in our market, which is European; our competitors are not the companies with whom we share docks but rather countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Croatia and Turkey.


Concessionary ports will request and perhaps obtain the 100 percent suspension of state fees(HERE to learn more) necessary to save their budgets and guarantee salaries for their employees.

Contrary to everything this Charter Companies are currently ordered to pay in full for berths, the boats’ insurance, the boatyards, the materials needed to keep them operational, and the salaries of its employees, with the financing and leasing needed to support the boat purchases that to date have been suspended until September 30, 2020.


It is appropriate to aspire to have contributions per voucher/credit note cancellation as will happen for the tourism sector.

It would also be great to work together with the various trade associations such as Assonautica, Confcommercio, Confindustria and Federalberghi on the possibility of extending to Charter Companies the 60 percent tax credit on the amount spent on leases; our mooring contracts could safely be understood as leases.

Safety spacing

Another point of concern for our clients and agencies is related to the maximum number of people our boats can carry. If the number of embarkable users were to be regrettably reduced, the bare-boat sector would be all but doomed. Most of our crews are family units or already formed groups that cannot be halved. Any activity that involves The mobility of people cannot ignore nationally and internationally shared health and behavioral protocols; management of detachment between people on a ‘boat is not feasible and a protocol must be identified to minimize the risk of spreading potential contagion. Health protocols must be implemented with respect to users before they board the boats and not by reducing the number of people who can be boarded in an otherwise confined space such as a sailboat.”

The statement is signed by Aladair Sail (Cannigione), Altamarea (Cannigione), Blue Med Yachting (Olbia), Blue Lagoon (Olbia) Boomerang Charter (Portisco), Cagliari Sailing Charter (Cagliari), Capotesta Yachting (Santa Teresa di Gallura), Carloforte Sail Charter (Carloforte), Color Charter (Portisco),Cruising Charter (Portisco), CS Charter (Cagliari), Europsail Yachting & Charter (Portisco), Free Charter (Cannigione), GM Catamaran Charter (Cannigione), Kiriacoulis Italia (Portisco),Le rotte di Portolano (Cannigione), MadMax (Porto Pozzo), My Sailing (Stintino), Miceli Vela (Portisco), Mistral Sailing (Santa Teresa), Navigare Worldwide (Cagliari), Noah Sailing (Cannigione), North Sardina Sail (Cala dei Sardi), Petag Sailing in sardinia (Palau), Yachting in Sardinia (Portisco), Sailing Sicily (Cannigione), Sardinia Yachting (Cannigione), Sardinia Week (Poltu Cuatu), Shamandura Charter (Poltu Quatu), Sun Charter (Marina dell’ Isola), Sunsail (Cannigione), Seafever (Marina dell’ Isola).



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