105,000 guests checked out this year’s boat show
Attendance up 7 percent from 2016
FORT LAUDERDALE — Boating enthusiasts turned out in droves for the 58th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which enjoyed a boost in attendance fanned in part by sunnier skies and consumer optimism about the economy.
The 2017 boating spectacle, which ran Nov. 1-5 across seven locations in Fort Lauderdale, attracted 105,000 visitors — an increase of 7 percent from last year, show organizers announced Tuesday.
The throngs of people who turned out to buy boats and marine merchandise, or simply to gawk at the vessels, came from more than 50 countries worldwide, Informa Exhibitions said in a news release.
“Excellent weather, a robust economy, realigned marketing efforts and a huge selection of new product offerings brought energetic crowds to the docks and exhibits daily,” said Andrew Doole, Informa’s vice president and general manager.
Several exhibitors reported robust sales during the showcase, including Viking Yachts of New Jersey, which sold 13 boats.
“It was a tremendous show, with high energy, brisk sales activity and great enthusiasm for our new boats … as well as all our other yachts,” Patrick Healey, Viking’s president and CEO said.
Viking’s 15-vessel display, which included its new 93 Motor Yacht and the 44 Open models, drew more visitors than any previous Fort Lauderdale show — more than 7,000 over its duration, the company said.
Other exhibitors also saw a noticeable uptick in traffic from 2016.
“The 2017 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show brought an increase in visits to our displays and enabled us to enter into many strong negotiations and a number of sales,” said Randy Coleman, vice president of sales of Ferretti Group America.
Ferretti Group typically sees strong attendance from U.S. and South American customers at the Fort Lauderdale event, Coleman said.
The annual event – considered the largest boat show in the world in terms of gross exhibitor space and number of vessels — had more than 1,400 boats of varying sizes and prices on display.
Show enhancements by Informa to the tune of $7 million included upgrades to docks, electrical equipment, signage and navigational aids and exhibition
The boat show ran Nov. 1-5 across seven locations in Fort Lauderdale. People from more than 50 countries attended.