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Jan Feb 2015 Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

MARKETING Hosting events

MARKETING Hosting events in the Canary Islands by Melanie Symes As the need to offer a competitive edge becomes ever more apparent, marinas can make the most of an increasingly improved service-focused culture to promote their facilities as attractive waterfront venues. Conferring an intrinsic prestige upon any event, a marina environment can offer a unique backdrop for event organisers and an appealing and exclusive location for visitors. In the case of Puerto Calero in the Canary Islands, dedicating time and resources to events has been part of a long-term promotional campaign, helping the marina to develop as a sailing destination. Lanzarote in the Canarian archipelago is not as well known as its more commonplace counterparts in the larger islands and so trying to propose that sailors divert from a time-honoured conventional route or even consider cruising in a relatively Sharing a passion for the ocean: Jimmy Cornell and José Calero. unknown new destination has been far from an easy task. Lanzarote is a location however that offers some key qualities that almost make organising nautical events a logical conclusion: a warm year-round climate, great sailing conditions and very beneficially for an offshore facility, an established tourist infrastructure with reliable services. This has been key to decisions made by Volvo Ocean Race teams who have set up training campaigns on the island and international racing events such as the prestigious RORC Transatlantic Race and Panerai Transat Classique, both with departures from Lanzarote. Perhaps the most important lesson to have been learned throughout this experience is the value of working together with others: visiting sailors - amongst them experts in many interesting fields; groups and associations; local authorities and businesses resident in the marina and with shared promotional objectives who A sea rescue demonstration at Puerto Calero proved to be an educational and entertaining event. Photo: can bring added attractions to public events, and local authorities. Some of the concert evenings hosted in marinas, for example, have been most notably successful for the surrounding bars and restaurants whose staff propose special menus and collaborate with the event organiser with special offers. This enhances the experience for event participants and creates an excellent buzz within the facility. The Mini Transat, a convivial and yet mythical transatlantic race for singlehanded sailors, now about to Fun for the little ones during a Puerto Calero open day. - January/February 2015 37

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