Canal Boat - - NEWS -

British Marine, the or­gan­is­ers of the an­nual Lon­don Boat Show, has an­nounced that the event will not now take place in 2019.

This world’s old­est boat show, it be­gan at Olympia in 1955, soon trans­ferred to Earl’s Court, and then for the past 15 years from 2004 the show moved to East Lon­don’s ExCel. Jan­uary 2018’s shorter five-day event (rather than ten) was hailed as a suc­cess by or­gan­is­ers, but now they say “a large num­ber of key ex­hibitors were not pre­pared to com­mit to ex­hibit­ing to a five day Show at ExCeL in Jan­uary 2019”,and that sur­veys showed that vis­i­tor sat­is­fa­tion was below ac­cept­able in­dus­try stan­dards.

Al­though canal boat­ing has never been more than a rel­a­tively small part of the event, this year’s show saw the re­turn of a once-reg­u­lar in­land fea­ture, ma­jor­ing on hol­i­day hire craft.

BM chair­man David Pougher ad­mit­ted the de­ci­sion was “nat­u­rally very dis­ap­point­ing for the British marine in­dus­try” but said BM couldn’t com­mit to a show “clearly fore­cast in its cur­rent for­mat to be com­mer­cially un­vi­able” , in con­trast to BM’s “highly suc­cess­ful” Southamp­ton show.

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