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7 March 2024

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference: presentation at Dubai International Boat Show

In the occasion of the 30th edition of the Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS – 28 February – 3 March 2024﴿
in the frame of the ICE (Italian Trade Agency) & Confindustria Nautica stand at 19pm on Friday 29th February 2024, the next edition of the “ICOMIA World Marinas Conference”, WORLD CONFERENCE OF TOURIST PORTS, will be presented.

An iconic setting for the ICOMIA World Marinas conference – Venice 2025 – Setting a course for sustainability
The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference, set to take place in Venice, 2025, has already attracted significant regional and global interest, expectations and fundings.

The conference will embrace ocean science and conservation and diversity and accessibility amidst an exciting programme and will be officially certified by RINA for the sustainable adopted approach.
With a rich maritime heritage and strong cultural identity, Venice lends itself perfectly to hosting the next ICOMIA World Marinas Conference, set to take place from the 15th – 17th October 2025. Known as the “Queen of the Sea” and one of the world’s most iconic destinations, it is entirely fitting that this flagship event should take place in a city built on the water.
Conference organiser Alberto Sonino is the owner and manager of Venezia Certosa Marina, a serene retreat in the Venice lagoon. The venue lends much to its history as a shipyard and naval base, with a successful marina offering over 400 berths, a boatyard, sailing school and artisanal boatbuilding.

Having attended 5 World Marina Conferences over recent decades, Sonino is looking forward to building on his experience with an event that both elevates knowledge acquisition and celebrates the cultural and maritime heritage of his native city:
“I’m looking to create a transformative experience that attends to the diverse needs of the industry, strengthens our community, and also offers an exclusive opportunity to see an unconventional side of Venice. Our pre-conference programme will include guided trips around the lesser-known islands, museums and monuments of the lagoon, and a visit to the MOSE flood barrier amongst other surprises.

With environmental concerns carrying such importance, it is essential that a business trip is eminently productive and justifiable, providing maximum value not just for participants, sponsors and exhibitors, but also for the destination.”
An early start and proactive management team, headed by Sonino and well-known industry figure Roberto Perocchio, and supported by ICOMIA president Darren Vaux and CEO Joe Lynch, has already managed to attract significant funding. This includes strong regional support including the patronage of the Ministry of Infrastructures and Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport, the Ministry of Tourism, the Veneto Region, the Municipality of Venice, the Port System Authority of the Northern Adriatic Sea, and the cooperation of Venice Marco Polo International Airport managed by the SAVE group, Confindustria Nautica, Assomarinas, Confindustria Veneto Est, the Venice Boat Show managed by Vela Spa, and the ICE-Agenzia for the promotion abroad and internationalisation of Italian corporations (ITA, Italian Trade Agency).

Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a unique event with inspiring world-class content, as we set a course towards a sustainable and prosperous future for marinas around the globe!

The enthusiasm for the Venetian edition of the Conference – which has been attracting professionals in the nautical sector from all over the world for thirty years – led to an acceleration of organisational activities and the start of negotiations with the first sponsors who decided to support the event and match their image with the approach to it.
At the end of the World Marinas Conference 2023, held last October in Vilamoura, Portugal, Alberto Sonino – Director of Vento di Venezia, the company that manages Venezia Certosa Marina, a member of Confindustria Nautica, presented the project to delegates from thirty different countries and illustrated the organising body’s vision for an unforgettable 2025 edition. ICOMIA then officially passed the baton to Venice, the ‘oldest city of the future’.

Together with Alberto Sonino and some colleagues of the organizing committee, Roberto Perocchio, President of Assomarinas, the Italian Association of Marinas, and Councillor of Confindustria Nautica, presented the event at Metstrade in Amsterdam, last November 2023, at Boot Duesseldorf International Boat Show in January 2024, and twice in the United States: at the annual conference of US marinas, organised from January 30th till February 1st 2024 by AMI (Association of Marina Industries) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and at Miami Boat Show on February 15th. Roberto Perocchio says: “The Icomia World Marina Conference in Venice will, as usual, be the largest intercontinental meeting of port operators, marina associations, suppliers and consultants, where best practices, new investments, future trends and industry policies will be discussed in depth and new strategies for the future will be developed.

The city of Venice, after all, is traditionally a perfect meeting point between East and West, and expectations for a highly successful audience from all over the world are very high.
International delegates will enjoy a wide variety of speeches and panels with top industry experts, as well as a trip to the region’s best marinas and elegant social events where it is easy to generate new joint ventures and business opportunities. Once again, the conference will be a perfect stage of global visibility for the many sponsors who will benefit from almost two years of promotional activity, and the companies that choose to be exhibitors will have close contact during the event with the most important players and opinion makers in the marine industry”.

Darren Vaux, President of ICOMIA, said: The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference is the most prestigious global marina conference. It is the one opportunity when marina leaders from across the world meet to share the latest trends and technologies, to shape policies and to inspire and inform the next generation of our industry’s leaders. We are delighted to be able to welcome the marina industry to Venice, a location steeped in maritime history and look forward to another world leading event.

Joe Lynch, secretary general of Icomia, will present the event at Dubai International Boat Show. He said: “We are so excited about bringing the IWMC to Venice in 2025. To be able to host the world’s most informed and inspiring marina industry leaders in such an inspiring location is a chance not to be missed. We are delighted that our sponsorship partners are so keen to become involved, whilst our members are already booking their places as attendees. Please get in touch if you would like to sponsor, exhibit or attend this landmark event whilst places are still available”.

Federico Caner, Veneto Region’s Councillor for EU Funds – Tourism – Agriculture – Foreign Trade, presented the event at the BIT – International Tourism Exchange held in Milan, Italy, on 5 February, and highlighted the importance of the event, which involves a plurality of public and private players of international calibre in the pleasure boating sector, where the Veneto region boasts facilities of excellence that generate a significant induced activity in the area and are undertaking a path of development in the areas of innovation and environmental sustainability. For these reasons, the event, which falls within the context of sustainable tourism and conference tourism, is included in the calendar of Great Regional Events in preparation for the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic Games, with a view to synergic development with other tourism segments.

Simone Venturini, Councillor for Tourism, Employment and Economic Development of the Municipality of Venice, emphasised the importance of the event, which confirms Venice’s vocation and competitiveness also in the field of conference tourism, and praised the collaboration between public institutions and private operators in attracting major international events on strategic issues in the area. Pleasure boating, which combines the themes of tourist hospitality with the management of strategic coastal infrastructures, such as marinas, is a production sector of national excellence that generates an extraordinary induced socio-economic return. Venice’s historical vocation for shipbuilding, services and equipment for pleasure boating has been the subject of an important relaunch implemented by the City Council through the Venice Boat Show. The World Conference of Tourist Ports is part of the promotion of quality tourism with a high impact on the entire lagoon territory in the path of qualification, de-seasonalisation and de-localisation of tourist flows.

Organising Secretariat:

For sponsorship, exhibitors, delegates, speakers, logistics and further information please contact:
ICOMIA WORLD MARINAS CONFERENCE 2025 – Certosa Island | Venice | 15-17 October 2025
iwmc25@ventodivenezia.it; www.worldmarinaconferencevenice.com

ICOMIA, the International Federation of Marine Industry Associations
ICOMIA brings together the national associations of the marine industry into a single global organisation and represents them at international level by expressing a strong and united voice in the context of the various economic and organisational challenges facing the sector. ICOMIA has been an active promoter of the international marine industry since 1966, working with authorities, regulatory bodies, and related organisations to facilitate and encourage the growth of the recreational marine industry worldwide, while maintaining policies and guidelines to ensure the success, protection and growth of the industry.

CONFINDUSTRIA NAUTICA – The Italian Marine Industry Association
The Italian Marine Industry Association, Confindustria Nautica, is the national non-profit institution that since 1967 has represented the interests of the entire yachting supply chain on a national and international level, dedicated to encouraging and enabling the growth of the sector’s businesses, promoting marine culture and developing nautical tourism across Italy.
Initiatives provided by the Italian Marine Industry Association include the collection, processing and dissemination of industry data gathered from throughout the yachting supply chain and nautical tourism segment, in relation to both domestic and international markets. It also promotes the technical and economic development of the sector through the development of research projects, publications, in-depth studies, debates and conferences.
Every year, the Italian Marine Industry Association – CONFINDUSTRIA NAUTICA – organises a brimming programme of international events to promote the yachting industry in Italy and abroad, including the Genoa International Boat Show, Design Innovation Award, Italy’s National Sea Day, the Sailor of the Year Award, the Satec Convention and Boating Pioneer Award, all adding to a year-round calendar of international events devoted to the industry’s latest developments and most pressing issues.


ASSOMARINAS The Friendly Italian Marina Network
The Italian Tourist Ports Association – ASSOMARINAS – has been operating since 1972 to create a “network” between the accommodation facilities for recreational boating along the Italian coasts.
Assomarinas strengthens the exchange of information and services between tourist port operators by assisting members in carrying out their activities for a constant improvement of the services offered.
It represents the operators at a Regional and National level with the support of Confindustria Nautica, the Association of Shipyards, Nautical Industries and Related Industries to which Assomarinas belongs.
The Association promotes nautical tourism by participating in the most qualified sector conferences and boat shows, working incessantly for the growth of the nautical tourism sector and for the formation of a more favorable sector policy through Federturismo Confindustria, the system Confindustria for tourism.
To support the importance of accommodation facilities for nautical recreation on an international level and to encourage the training and updating of operators, Assomarinas also actively participates in the organisation of the ICOMIA WORLD MARINAS CONFERENCE.
CONTACTS: Cavallino Treporti (VENICE region, Italy) Ph. +39 041 5371397 info@marinas.it – press@marinas.it

Vento di Venezia and Venice Certosa Marina
Vento di Venezia was founded in 2003 with the objective of designing, building and managing facilities and services for pleasure boating in the Venice Lagoon, as well as promoting the physical and socio-economic regeneration of the Venetian territory through the pleasure boating industry
In 2004, a multifunctional service centre was built by Vento di Venezia on the previously abandoned Certosa Island, to allow its redevelopment and integration with the city of Venice, through the establishment of economic activities and services for both residents and tourists. Vento di Venezia has also built and manages Venezia Certosa Marina, which includes high-end harbour facilities, a shipyard dedicated to the construction of traditional Venetian boats, a hotel accommodation facility, spaces equipped for sports and cultural events and a nautical training centre.