15 October 2017

Technological innovations and business deals were the highlights of this year's event

The Boat Show celebrates one of its best-ever editions, reflecting the recovery of the sector

In line with the sector's positive performance, the Barcelona International Boat Show, which concludes this afternoon in Port Vell, brings the curtain down on one of the best editions of the last few years in terms of the technological innovations on show, the intensive commercial activity and the large visitor numbers. The event, which has grown by 11% this year in exhibition space and the floating exhibition area compared to last year, has strengthened its positioning as the biggest event for the sports and recreational sailing industry in Spain. 
The Barcelona Boat Show, organised by Fira de Barcelona, has cruised through the week. Its fifty-sixth edition brought together 275 exhibitors, 7% more than in 2016, who occupied a net exhibition area of 23,000 sq. m (+11%) on the wharves of La Fusta and Espanya, with more than 700 boats of which 180 were in the floating section (+11%). 
According to the show's president, Luis Conde, 'this year witnessed some intensive commercial activity at our exhibitors' stands, with a wealth of sales, contacts and new business operations. This huge volume of business - some 50% of the sector's annual sales are generated at the show- was supported by considerable numbers of visitors with purchasing power'. 
According to Conde, 'the excellent results this year consolidate the recovery of the event, reflecting the positive trend in the Spanish nautical industry as a whole, which grew by 9.23% between January and September 2017, and also responds, in the current context, to the confidence shown by exhibitors and visitors in this annual flagship event.' 
This was also one of the most innovative and high-tech editions of the event. Among the 120 new products on show (16% more than in 2016), standouts included connected boats and new apps for the remote control of boats using smartphones or smartwatches; more sustainable boats with hybrid motors, and new gadgets for practising water sports such as aquatic bicycles and shark watercraft. According to the show's director, Jordi Freixas, 'the nautical sector is undoubtedly going through a huge technological transformation, and once again this year the event provided a showcase for the latest trends in an industry that is going for safer, more comfortable and more manageable boats.' 
Apart from the innovations on show, the almost 100 activities organised by the event proved extremely popular with visitors. Most notable, on the professional side, were the second edition of the Seminars for Entrepreneurs and Start-ups, with around 15 participants; the first round of meetings between exhibitors and visitors, in which around 100 companies took part; and the presentations of major regattas. 
Meanwhile, the recreational activities that attracted the biggest visitor numbers included dinghy sailing and water bikes, the paddle surf pool, the traditional sailing workshops, the SUP and kayak excursions across the harbour, and the Nautical Night, with live music and fashion shows. 
With just a few hours to go before it closes, the Boat Show, which enjoys the support of ANEN (National Association of Nautical Companies) expects to have surpassed 56,000 visitors. The main international visitors hailed from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Russia. The next edition of the Boat Show will be held in October 2018.
Barcelona, 15 October 2017