The Malta shipping register is now the biggest register worldwide of superyachts, with 850 vessels bigger than 24m, Transport Minister Ian Borg said on Tuesday.

Borg lauded Transport Malta’s work to regulate the sector, adding that the agency has achieved this milestone largely through consistent dialogue with stakeholders.

Speaking at a press conference, he said that despite the effects of the COVID pandemic on the economy, Malta has seen a 7% increase in the number of registered yachts over this year alone.

Over the past five years, the maritime register for these luxury vessels has seen a 50% increase, proving Malta’s reliability as a base of operations, Borg said.  

The minister emphasised that the key pillars which the local industry is based on are “quality, reputation and confidence.”

“The yachts in this marina are smaller examples of what we are referring to. We are referring to superyachts which employ various specialized sectors on top of the regular seafaring operators.

"This also generates employment for catering staff and other specialized areas, you can basically find anything on these yachts,” the minister remarked.

He explained how TM has recently finished a consultative exercise to redefine parameters related to the commercial yacht code, and is now embarking on another 3-month long consultation to make sure that the passenger yacht code is up to scratch.

“Operators in the sector are pleased with the quality of service we are offering as a country, and we are proud to see such beautiful vessels bearing the Maltese flag. We want more of these vessels to see Malta,” he added.

The minister also emphasised that investment in this niche market provides income related to the conversion of foreign currencies, an additional stream that goes over and above the economic activity generated by multi-disciplinary crews which are required to service luxury vessels.

He also emphasised that part of Transport Malta's efforts involve promoting green yachts which emit less harmful pollutants into the environment. 

Borg pointed out that greener alternatives will be given preference, just like his ministry wished to promote green alternatives in other transport sectors. 

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