by Jeni Bone
Hailed as 'the yachting capital of the world', Fort Lauderdale hosted its 54th international boat show from October 31 to November 4 and welcomed an estimated 131,000 people over the five days.
In 2012, the attendance reached nearly 100,000, and it is estimated the attendance for the 2013 show will increase by some 31 percent from last year, according to Efrem 'Skip' Zimbalist, III, chief executive of Show Management, the producer and management company for the Fort Lauderdale boat show. Zimbalist said 'This will be the biggest show in terms of revenue.'
The 2013 show is expected to generate US$500 million in economic impact for the Fort Lauderdale area, benefiting not only businesses in the marine industry, but also local restaurants, hotels, transport and other local companies.
More than 1,000 vessels were on display, including sport-fishing, high performance boats, cabin cruisers, sailing yachts, catamarans, trawlers and superyachts. There were also exotic cars on display.
The show covered six locations and over 3 million square feet of space; however, a network of bus shuttles and water taxis made the navigation from one venue to another relatively easy for those attending.
Bob Saxon, President of International Yacht Collection summed up exhibitor sentiment when he said: ' I had predicted a good Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, but the results went well beyond our expectations'.
IYC, FLIBS 2013, The Docks Fill Up with Potential Buyers
'For the first time in recent years, the docks were replete with qualified buyers which could portend the long-awaited shift in affluent consumer buying attitudes. IYC is not alone. Across the board the industry is reporting brisk activity in both the brokerage sales and charter vacation sectors. I don’t believe this to be an aberration but more the first signs of a positive trend.
'IYC brokers report activity on nearly every central agency listing that was present at the Fort Lauderdale Show. In short, our customers are ready to go boating!'
More at www.showmanagement.com/fort-lauderdale-international-boat-show-2013/event/