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 IMC 2008 - May 25th - May 28th 19/02/2007

The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) is pleased to announce that its 6th International Marina Conference will be held May 25-28, 2008; on the Flemish coast off the North Sea in Oostende, Belgium. The Flemish Marina Community and the French Marinas Federation will coordinate the event, popularly referred to as IMC 2008.

The region of Flanders, which encompasses parts of Belgium and France, is ideal for the IMC's return to Europe. Not only is it a hub of recreational boating acitivity and a show place for marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs, it is a popular crossroad for boaters cruising the North Sea and English Channel. In the sense that it is close to Brussels, the seat of the European Economic Community which is key to the future of recreational boating as a sport and industry in this part of the world, Flanders is at the heart of things. The two-nation field trip planned for IMC 2008, to marinas Dunkerque, France and Nieuwpoort, Belgium, should have strong appeal to those who enjoy the first-hand learning experience of being able to visit local marina's, take pictures and ask questions to marina managers.

Planning the conference program is already under way. Two days of interactive panel discussions, tapping into the expertise of a battery of marina experts in Europe and around the world, will allow plenty of time for questions and comments from the audience. Shortly, there will be a call for papers, addressing selected topics.

As with earlier IMC's, how to operate and manage a marina for success will be of primary interest. How to evaluate the economic impacts of marinas, for the benefit of private and public sector developers looking for facts and figures to back up their projects, and how to effectively network with allied interests, particularly in the tourist industry, are expected to be other topics. Because the need for this kind of information came out of discussions at IMC 2005, the ICOMIA Marina's Committee has assigned it top priority.

The Marinas Committee of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) is now calling for papers as subjects for panel discussions at its Sixth international Marina Conference. Popularly referred to as IMC 2008, the conference will be held in the Media Centre, Oostende, Belgium, May 25-28, 2008, under the auspices of the Flemish Community, the French Marinas Federation and the Syndicat Mixte de la Cote d’Opale.

This premier international marina education conference is the largest of its kind in the world. IMC 2005, at San Diego, California, drew marina operators, government representatives, developers and systems and components manufacturers from more than 25 countries around the globe.

The theme for IMC 2008 is Alliances for Progress, which means networking between marina industry and allied public and private sector organizations worldwide for the enhancement of the recreational boating experience through new and improved boating facilities.

In that vein, part of the program will be devoted to marinas as community centres for the generation of water-oriented tourism as well as destinations for cruising yachts, with particular focus on what boaters regard as quality facilities and services, the universal appeal of clean marinas, surfing the internet for marina information, designing for mega-yachts business , government promotions for marinas and yacht harbours, and the expansion of boating opportunities on inland waterways.

Another part of the program seeks practical, cost-effective answers to common marina management and operation problems, such as maintenance dredging, survival planning for the inevitability of hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, designing for trends in the boat population, protecting and preserving working waterfronts against competitive market forces, dry-stack storage and other water access.

The complete Call for Papers and further information can be downloaded from the official conference web site at

The deadline for submitting abstracts for papers is June 1, 2007.

IMC 2008 runs from May 25 to 28, 2008 in Oostende, Belgium. For more information, visit, or contact Steven Desloovere (steven@imc2008) or Ron Stone (