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Talks on yacht regatta for Rhodes

Racing yachts

Talks on yacht regatta for Rhodes.

Talks are under way to stage a major annual international yacht regatta and sailing competition on the holiday island of Rhodes. Island leaders say the even could bring in €60 million to local businesses each year and boost the island's economy. Talks have been held between Rhodes mayor, the island's hotel association and the Greek national sailing team over staging the event.

Sotiris Bouza of the Greek sailing team said: ""The city of Rhodes is one of the places we've chosen to organize large and international sailing competitions in Greece. Rhodes has all the physical infrastructure the tourism and ability to host such games."

The regatta would probably be held in spring or autumn and help to extend the holiday season on Rhodes.

Staging such an event will require large infrastructure facilities, manpower and technical expertise but organisers are sure that Rhodes can tick all the boxes.

They may also incorporate resorts in Italy and Cyprus to make it a major east Mediterranean tourist attraction. A similar even staged in Trapani, Italy, in 2005 attracted 500,000 people.

There could also be considerable spin-offs from regular yacht regattas in Rhodes, not only in terms of filling out-of-season hotel rooms but in the creation of permanent yacht sailing and coaching facilities on Rhodes.

It is estimated that each of the yacht racing competitions could boost the numbers taking holidays in Rhodes by 100,000, although in similar events the numbers have been much higher