Good agents don’t mix business and pleasure
ISS-Tositti, the joint venture formed at the beginning of 2005 between Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), and Venice-based Tositti & Co., has announced a new strategic partnership with the Koper-based port agency, Navigo Logistika. After many years of cooperation in various segments of the shipping industry, the companies will form a new entity called ISS-Navigo to advance their ambitious expansion plans in the East Adriatic.
But despite Navigo’s experience in the yachting sector, the new joint venture will not be offering services to superyachts cruising the region says ISS-Tositti’s MD, Stefano Tositti, who is also CEO of BWA Yachting.
Tositti says the art of being a good yacht agent is to retain one’s focus of expertise, which means keeping ship and superyacht operations separately. “BWA has its own offices – almost 40 – in the Med, outside the Med, in the Caribbean… and BWA will expand in other areas”, Tositti explained. “If there is a client in an area without BWA representation we will cooperate with ISS but the basis of BWA’s business is providing a local service and we don’t want to compromise that.”
The next step in BWA’s evolution, he says, is investing in its technological infrastructure, to deliver an even more efficient and interconnected service. But in geographical terms, Tositti identifies Croatia, Spain and Turkey as three growth markets that will attain a strong focus. The Med will remain the world’s superyacht epicentre the foreseeable future, he adds, but full service companies must offer a global service and Tositti is keeping his eye on the emergence of Asian cruising, which he thinks is a more viable destination than the Middle East.
However, he says it is important to understand the variances between the European, Caribbean and Asian business models – providing a support network in these territories requires very different capabilities, and Tositti will not be throwing BWA into the Far East hurriedly. “There should already be a market there, and an even bigger market in the future, but before any of that we have to understand how to establish a BWA presence there.”
However, the immediate target is to “consolidate what we already have, to maintain a consistent quality of service everywhere and provide the same quality of service to all of our clients.”