A boatload of money for new marinasThe government plans to create an additional six marinas by investing 30 billion won ($27 million) through 2017.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced yesterday it will embark on basic studies to design marinas in Incheon, Gunsan, Yeosu, Changwon, Uljin and Ulsan.
The ministry said the plan is to meet growing demand for leisure facilities.
According to ministry data, the number of registered yachts and boats surged from 205 in 2006 to 8,560 last year.
Likewise, the number of people who have licenses to operate yachts or boats increased to 126,000, from 56,000 six years ago.
The nation’s marina facilities are considered poor. There are 20 marinas built by local governments and most of them can accommodate only 10 to 60 boats.
The total number of yachts and boats that can moor at existing marinas is 1,542. The ministry said it is an urgent task to build more marinas as soon as possible.
Creation of those facilities will also add jobs, it said.
The marina project is one of the Park Geun-hye government’s major tasks, too.
“The government will also start supporting experts on yacht-making with an aim to foster the entire maritime leisure industry,” a ministry official said.
“The six marinas will become global hubs for the industry, establishing networks with China, Japan and Russia, and attracting foreign tourists.”
BY SONG SU-HYUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]