The 2nd Goa Nautical Conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry was attended by over 80 delegates from across India, held at the Cidade de Goa Hotel in India on the 18th of March 2017. The conference had a strong emphasis on Marine Tourism with three key sessions on infrastructure, the new pleasure craft rules for India and developing marine tourism in the waterways and coastline of India.
The first session Chaired by Atrey Sawant the Chairman of the Goa Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) included presentations from Ratnakar Dandekar the Managing Director of local boat manufacturer Aquarius who showed how the latest manufacturing techniques such as resin infusion are now starting to be used in Indian boat manufacturing. The development of Marinas in India was addressed by a presentation from Hermant Arondekar the Managing Director of Pinakin Construction who highlighted the difficulties of obtaining planning permission for marinas, a situation which has effectively blocked all attempts to establish marinas in India.
International Boat Industry Middle East and Asia correspondent, Mike Derrett made the keynote conference presentation ‘The future for Nautical Tourism’ focusing on the need for the industry to adapt to the new demands of the tourism market where younger participants are keen to experience new marine activities such as kite surfing, paddle boarding and high speed foiling catamarans, but want no long term commitment, preferring to hire than own boats and equipment.
‘Introducing the new pleasure craft regulations of India’ was the title of the second presentation and panel discussion which was moderated by Gautama Dutta from Bombay based Marine Solutions and co-author of the new pleasure craft regulations. The introduction of the new regulations formalizes the status of leisure boating in India which was previously subject to commercial shipping regulations. This was seen by the Conference as an important step in developing the leisure boating market and smoothing the way to hiring, financing and insuring leisure boats which has been difficult without proper regulations. The session included input from key panelists including the Joint Managing Director of the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) Mr Vijay Arora.
The concluding session and panel discussion was moderated by Mr Nikhil Dessai, the Managing Director of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation with seven Indian panelists including Aashim Mongia, director of West Coast Marine Yacht Services, and the new President of the Indian Marine Federation resulted in a lively discussion.
Key conclusions were that developing smaller boat launching and berthing facilities would be more successful in the face of local opposition in India than trying to obtain permission to build large marinas.