MARRIAGE develops marina management on southern Baltic shore

The MARRIAGE project brought together water tourism experts from the “South Coast Baltic” area for territorial cooperation with a view to providing business support for marinas. This was done through joint water tourism marketing schemes, development of marina management tools and consolidation of a marina network on the southern Baltic shore.

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Boats moored in the Gdańsk marina © Jens Masuch Boats moored in the Gdańsk marina © Jens Masuch

" In Ustka, we are currently constructing a new marina for which we plan to find private capital and involve a private operator. The study on marina operating models published by the MARRIAGE project made us aware of the many aspects and details that have to be considered to effectively share financing, responsibilities and risks between public and private parties and find the most suitable solution. "

Jarosław Teodorowicz, Municipality of Ustka

Promotion of the region as a sailing area entailed coordination of tourism marketing measures aimed at capitalising on the region's range of destinations. A common marketing brand (“South Coast Baltic”) and guidelines were developed to encourage marinas to follow a joint approach. Joint promotion measures of regional tourism institutions have enhanced the region's visibility and the attractiveness of its marinas and sailing areas.

Cross-border knowledge transfer on efficient and sustainable marina management and profitable operation was based on the train-the-trainer principle and entailed compilation of good practices in a marina management handbook and training curriculum. This was supported by an expert group of operators and educators from all participating countries. Trainers then drew up training programmes for marina owners, operators, managers and staff and carried out training in national languages in order to disseminate knowledge.

A network of marinas

Development and transfer of approaches for consolidation of a marina network was focused on public-private partnerships for developing and operating marinas, “island harbours” situated on outer shores and small guest-only stops. Pilot measures demonstrated the suitability of these approaches and facilitated their transfer.

A baseline study and best practice survey were performed on public-private partnerships, and workshops and study trips took place to disseminate expertise. Based on the pilot measures and lessons learned, guidelines for public-private partnerships, island harbours and small stops were drawn up. They were compiled in a marina network consolidation toolbox.

The project has led to the creation of a network of marinas using a common brand and following common quality and service standards. This enhances tourist infrastructure in the South Baltic and helps to diversify tourism patterns, including through development of cross-border tourism.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “MARRIAGE” is EUR 1 639 886, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 393 903 from the Operational Programme “South Baltic” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date