Cruising Association member Kingsley Ross believes changing visa regulations for non-EU boaters will help boost the economy

Changes to visa regulations for non-EU boaters are being sought in a bid to boost the economy.

With sailors from outside the EU limited to cruising in EU waters for just 90 days out of every 180, Cruising Association member Kingsley Ross believes this is forcing boaters to spend more money in countries outside the Shengen area.

A proposal to introduce a touring visa that allows visitors to remain in the EU for longer periods of time solely for tourism purposes was proposed by the EU, however legislation was never passed.

Kingsley Ross has started a survey to find evidence of the number of people affected and the potential financial loss to EU countries.

Mr Ross said: “The European Union is considering legislation that could permit cruisers, and others, to obtain a touring visa that would allow cruisers to remain in Schengen countries for up to a year with the possibility that it could be renewed for a second year.

“The survey is not for people who have yet to cruise in Europe even if they plan to in the near future and it does not collect any identifying information/

“A major motivation for creating the touring visa is the revenue that increased tourism will bring. This survey is intended to help establish what cruisers are spending in and around Europe. Based on our current information, the adoption of this proposal will not occur before 2016.”

If you are affected by the changes, you can complete a copy of the survey here.