How much is the maritime sector worth in Monaco? €1.8 billion to be exact

For the very first time, the real and quantifiable economic impact of Monaco’s maritime sector has been revealed in an official report, confirming the enormous value of this industry in a Principality that “cannot exist without the sea”. 

The sea has been a feature of daily life in Monaco since the very beginning. It is possible that the Principality owes its name to passing Phoenicians of the Ancient Mediterranean, who are believed to have stopped off in its natural harbours sometime around 1,700BCE and brought their style of civilisation to the Ligurian tribes who likely lived in the area.  

In the millennia that followed, fishing boats would have been the most dominant crafts floating in the port, but today they have been largely replaced by sleek sailboats, luxurious motor yachts, giant cruise ships and vessels destined for international waters the world over. 

See more: How did Monaco’s Port Hercule get its name?

In early February, the most important regional players in the yachting industry gathered at the Yacht Club de Monaco for the annual La Belle Classe Superyachts Business Symposium.

A platform for discussion on the trends, influences and challenges of the sector in Monaco and in the French Riviera, this year’s edition also provided Pascal Ferry and Benjamin Cauquil, the deputy director and research manager of IMSEE, with the perfect opportunity to present the statistical agency’s first ever compilation of data on the Principality’s maritime and yachting sectors.  

Understanding the maritime industry 

As explained in the report, Monaco’s maritime economy encompasses all activities that cannot exist without the sea, from trade and design to naval consultancy, repair and maintenance, legal services relating to maritime law, and fisheries and aquaculture, among others. 

In 2022, the year from which the data was gathered, the maritime industry in Monaco was made up of 635 establishments representing a range of major economic sectors. The largest share belonged to the wholesale trade sector, followed by scientific and technical activities, then transportation and storage.  

There were 15 companies dedicated to financial and insurance activities, nine handling retail trade, nine running affiliated information and communications businesses, and six construction entities.  

Combined, these 635 businesses represented 3,268 employees and generated €1.8 billion in revenue in 2022 – almost 10% of the overall revenue produced in Monaco that year.  

Yachting, a thriving sector 

The yachting industry is considered a sub-sector of the maritime economy in the report, but accounted for 411 of the afore-mentioned maritime businesses, equating to 3.7% of all companies registered in Monaco, and employed just shy of 1,500 salaried workers.

The largest sector was, again, wholesale trade. Almost one in two yachting businesses recorded in the report were linked to this area of expertise, with a particular weight given to those involved in the sale of vessels.  

Of the €567.1 million generated by the yachting sector in 2022, close to €310 million was produced by the wholesale trade sector. This influence was summarised in the report as being “largely thanks to the agents involved in the sale of ships, who generate more than half of the yachting turnover: €288.6 million or 50.9%”.  

Other yachting sectors highlighted in the report: the scientific and technical activities sector, which generated €84.7 million, with €21.2 million deriving from specialist design services; and the transportation and storage sector, the second-largest after wholesale trade with a 17.8% share of total revenue. This sub-sector includes services such as chartering and transportation organisation (€43.6 million), sea and coastal passenger water transportation (€47.1 million) and service activities incidental to water transportation (€47.1 million).  

Monaco’s role in the regional yachting scene

Alongside the presentation of the IMSEE report, a number of enlightening insights into Monaco’s role in the broader yachting industry of the French Riviera were also revealed. It is estimated that the yachting sector in the ‘Région Sud’ brought in €1.1 billion during 2022, meaning that the Principality contributed close to half of this total.  

Alluding to the positive changes behind made by Monaco’s own yachting industry, namely in the realm of environmental practice, François de Canson, the president of the Regional Tourism Committee, said, “We must embody the yachting of tomorrow, as it is in the Western Mediterranean where everything happens, is invented and implemented. It’s by combining forces with the Principality that we will rise to these challenges, while ensuring we maintain our attractiveness and continue to develop this sector in our region.” 

To read the report for yourself, click here.

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Main photo credit: Yacht Club de Monaco