The Italian MPN Marinas network is now working with Albania to help develop its marine leisure infrastructure. Albania’s Association for International Cooperation(GIZ) is now cooperating with MPN Marinas to review the development opportunities for new marinas along Albania’s 362km of coast.

The MPN Marinas network was launched at Boot Dusseldorf this year to operate as a management company for marinas, assisting in the running and marketing of them. Among its objectives are to attract boat owners from other European countries to berth their craft in the marinas and also promote the cultural and tourism aspects in the particular regions where the marinas are located. The network is currently working with five Italian marinas: Porto di Cecina, Cecina (800 berths up to 40m (131ft)); Marina di Santa Marinella, Santa Marinella (285 berths up to 22m); Marina dei Cesari, Fano (400 berths up to 40m); Marina Sveva, Montenero di Bisaccia (489 berths to 30m (98.5ft)) and Capo D¹Orlando Marina, Sicily (562 berths to 40m).

In respect of the Albania commission MPN will be working with GIZ to develop a marine leisure sector strategy including the development of marinas in such ports as Shenglin, Durres, Vlora and Saranda. Currently the only marina in the country is the Marina Orikum, south of Vlora. GIZ sees this as a strategy which has worked successfully in Croatia and Montenegro.

The Albanian Government is looking to develop its economy and expanding marine tourism is an integral part of that strategy. To plan for this GIZ was commissioned to evolve a plan for the country’s marine leisure sector and as part of this initiative it has brought MPN in to help. MPN has previously been involved with Albania in helping to develop a water sports tourism plan as part of a link between the two countries.

As to the future of the network MPN CEO Enrico Bertacchi commented back in February: “We are starting with marinas and we will have 10 by the end of the year. We hope to develop a network of 15 to 20 over the next few years.”