MIPIM 2009: Yacht space demand still high

The annual property show in Cannes is renowned for its use of yachts as the places on which to do business. Falling delegate numbers have not impacted demand. Among the firms renting yachts this year are Aberdeen Property Investors, RREEF and Cushman & Wakefield.

While tailing delegate numbers have dominated headlines so far at this year’s property jamboree in Cannes, demand from those wanting to entertain clients on boats remains high as space at both the conference’s main harbours are fully booked.

Delegate numbers may be down on previous years but the demand for yacht space remained high on the first day of this year’s MIPIM real estate conference in Cannes.

Officials at Cannes’s most popular harbours, Port Pierre Canto and the Vieux Port, both told PERE they were fully booked for the week.

While the official attendance of the four-day event, which kicked off today, is expected to be down by a third from 29,000 to 20,000 delegates, both ports were booked weeks in advance. Anecdotal evidence suggests though that companies have been offered last minute deals to occupy them at vastly reduced prices

At the Port Pierre Canto, which is a 15-minute walk along the Boulevard de la Croisette from the conference’s home at the Palais des Festivals, all 598 mooring posts have been occupied, while at the Vieux Port all 600 posts have been rented. Vieux Port however added that if you had a yacht of no more than nine metres, it could be accommodated – the industry standard at these events is 20 metres. 

While many of the inhabitants at both harbours have hired yachts specifically for this week’s event some yachts are, however, lived in permanently by residents.

Both harbours charge a special daily rate of about €270 a day – equivalent to a week's rate when MIPIM (or other conferences) is not in town.

Companies using yachts at this year's event include Aberdeen Property Investors, RREEF and property services firm Cushman & Wakefield. Some companies have opted not to occupy yacht space this year, such as UK property services firm Savills, which has taken residency in a local café.