Content of the study:
The marina operation market - France

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1.1 Definition and scope of the study

A marina can be located on the sea, river or lake. It is reserved for pleasure boats, which can be sailing or motorized. River ports are generally smaller in size, so marinas are more important in terms of activity level.

In 2020, there are nearly a thousand marinas, contributing to the tourism and economic development of certain communities and regions. With a national capacity of more than 200,000 berths, marinas must also increasingly meet the challenges of sustainable development.

From 2017 to 2019, the French water sports industry will experience an average annual growth of 5%, driven in particular by the democratization of the practice. The study focuses on the operation of marinas (in metropolitan France only), whose activity represents nearly 11% of the water sports industry.

In 2021, the recovery is underway and the marina operation market represents 517 million euros in growth of 6.2% compared to 2020.

In France, until 1983, the operation of a port was the exclusive responsibility of the State. The decentralization laws of 1983 and 1984 gradually transferred this responsibility to the local authorities for marinas.
The latter choose the mode of management of their ports, whether it is a public service or a concession . It appears then that the managers of marinas are subject to public service obligations.


1.2 The French market for the operation of marinas

The nautical sector:

The activity of marinas is part of the nautical sector. In ****, the nautical sector represents *.** billion euros of turnover, which is a growth of *.*% compared to ****. Thus, if the sector is regaining its dynamism to some extent, it is not returning to the same level of activity as ...


2.1 The number of boat licenses issued

Between **** and ****, nearly *.* million permits were issued in France according to

Since ****, there have been nearly ***,*** permits issued following an examination - the following graph highlights the distribution of these permit options.

Coastal licenses are therefore much more widespread and represent **% of the licenses issued.

Distribution of licenses ...

2.2 Registration of pleasure boats in maritime waters

Number of registrations : [***]

The number of registrations of new boats has been steadily increasing for many years. The graph below highlights the fleet of vessels registered in France on each **/** since ****: we note an average annual growth of the fleet of *.*%.

The ****/**** season is marked by a recovery in registrations after ...

2.3 Pleasure boats on inland waters

Between **** and ****, *,*** vessels were registered in inland waters, **% of which were motor vessels (***)

NB: inland waters can be both rivers and lakes. Inland waters represent nearly *** km of navigable waterways as well as various lakes or water bodies.

Distribution of new boats registered in inland waters by type France, **** - ****, in ...

2.4 Profile of boaters and expectations of marinas

According to ODIT France, boaters' expectations can be translated into three levels of service requirements, for which their willingness to pay for a better quality of service or an additional service varies:

*. The "basics" of port services: a harbor master's office, a lighted harbor, showers and sanitary facilities, all in ...


3.1 Management methods and issues for marinas

The local authorities choose the management method for their ports, and there are two main methods of operating ports:

public service operation: the local authority in question directly manages the operation of the port, although this is less common. concession operation: more widespread

Every marina manager has public service obligations and ...

3.2 Maritime marinas

In ****, according to Mer.gouv, there were *** marinas and recreational marine facilities, **% of which were "ports" in the strict sense - *** .

In ****, there will be *** according to the Ministry of the Sea.

In ****, Betagne and PACA concentrated the majority of French marinas and marinas with about **% in number and **% in ...

3.3 Inland marinas

According to the Ministry of the Sea, there will be *** inland waterway port facilities or boat stops in France in ****.

While inland ports are more numerous, they are smaller and represent only *% of total locations in France in ****.

Distribution of locations between seaports and river ports (***) France, ****, in % Source: ****

The Rhône-Saône ...

3.4 Analysis of services offered in the ports

The primary function of a marina is to provide shelter for the parking of pleasure boats, as well as various technical services. Residents may be year-round or temporary.

Port-Camargue is the largest marina in Europe, according to a **** article in Le Figaro. Created ** years ago, its *** hectares include *,*** berths - half ...


4.1 Typology of marinas

On the seashore, marinas have one or more dikes to protect boats from swells or storms.

Most often, mooring is done on floating pontoons (***). Some ports may also have mooring areas that require a boat to get to shore.

There are also dry berths (***).

Distribution of marinas by size range

France, ...

4.2 Price analysis and comparison


Commercialization of berths can normally not be done for a period longer than one year (***). Except in the case where the yachtsman in question has participated financially in the construction of the port - in this case he can have a place for a maximum of ** years. [***]

In practice, the ...

4.3 The growing importance of sustainability in marinas

For the Ministry of the Sea, one of the challenges is to reconcile the increase in the capacity of marinas with a sustainable development approach.

Of course, the economic stakes of the French marinas are important and linked to the effects on the economy of the region: tourism and related jobs, ...

4.4 The rise of collaborative offers in marinas: a solution to attract new audiences?

The collaborative offer is a tool to promote marinas in order to attract a new public. Offering boat sharing services - so that those who have a license but no boat can become customers of marinas - is therefore a solution to democratize access to marinas by means of platforms for ...


5.1 Regulations

UNAN (***) gives a practical guide concerning the administration of marinas.

"Since the decentralization laws of ****, the municipalities have become competent to create, develop and operate maritime ports mainly dedicated to pleasure boating. The other territorial authorities (***) have jurisdiction over the recreational facilities included in the ports for which they are ...


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