Day 4 of this year’s Genoa International Boat Show was marked by the presence of the Secretary of the Home Office Angelino Alfano, a big maritime enthusiast. So far, the event has had a huge success and hosted around 43,000 visitors during the first three days.
Once gotten to the first half of the exhibition, it might be time for a first evaluation: positive features in terms of visitors numbers, 43.000 after the first three days of Show, excluding the 25.500 presences registered on Saturday, and almost 700 organised sea trials: 1.300 among yachtsmen, clients, and simple enthusiasts were given the opportunity to live their “sea experience” in the water right in front of the Boat Show. The Boat Show is already the most visited in the Mediterranean area. A very positive result is the feedback given by the exhibitors, who talk about a more relaxed and positive atmosphere and many interesting transactions compared to the previous edition. The Boat Show takes back its role of proper marketplace. The goods asset is quite homogeneous: 30% of the exposed boats are sailing ones, 30% are inflatable, and 40% are motorboats.
Angelino Alfano, Italian Minister of Interiors and a sea enthusiast, went on a private family trip to the Boat Show to admire the over 1.000 exhibited boats. He also answered to a few journalists’ questions, providing his opinion on the nautical sector’s situation in Italy. “The maritime sector represents the Italian pride: it means growth, progress, and employment. It is also emblem of that Made in Italy that is excellence in a global perspective. It was a major mistake to surround the nautical sector with an atmosphere of terror that had its effect even on someone who only wanted to buy an ordinary dingey, and it was a huge error to put a sector so important for the country economy in this negative fiscal condition. This is the reason why we took measures to eliminate taxes introduced by the previous governments.”
“This one- the Minister carried on- could be the Boat Show that will mark the turning point, the year of the recovery. I saw many people, met many visitors. I am a great sea enthusiast since I come from a sea city. I saw the sacrifice of the entrepreneurs who had the courage to keep their companies opened even during such a crisis year. Our goal is to restore a sentiment of trust in Italian people and to prove we are by the side of this entrepreneurs who continued investing in process and product innovation despite the difficulties, and who decided to do so in Italy”.
The long queues for the ticket offices did not discourage those visitors who had taken advantage of another sunny day to crowd the piers. Among the many good news of this year, a renewed optimism of the operators has been registered.
Carla de Maria, President of Monte Carlo Yacht, a brand belonging to Group Bénétau, which nonetheless produces its yachts in Monfalcone, recaps the feedback they got after these first three days of exhibition: “Considering the general scenario we cannot declare ourselves disappointed. We actually would not even pronounce ourselves that enthusiast, but it is evident that partaking to this Show was compulsory. We are waiting for the end of the Show to draw a final report; so far, we have been establishing many interesting contacts”.
Fabio Planamente, General Manager of Cantieri del Pardo and UCINA representative for the sailing sector, is definitely satisfied with the results: “After these first three days the figures overcame the expectations, both in terms of visitors number and sale transactions. The positive trend started from the Cannes Show is still continuing.”
Massimo Mariotti, from Bénéteau Italia, declares himself very pleased: “Only in the first two days of this Show we had an overall turnover equal to the total one of the entire 2013 edition. It is worth noticing that the figure concerns both sailing and motorboats. A more positive and encouraging atmosphere is perceived in this Show.”
Another positive feedback was the one given by Pietro Formenti, from the homonymous brand and UCINA representative for inflatable boats: “The first day was not predicting much of a turn, but we ended up very surprised by the presence of not only curious visitors, but also of real interested buyers. We also registered a significant interest of foreign press, way more numerous compared to previous editions. The number of enthusiasts interested in sea trials has been worth noticing too.”
Mauro Feltrinelli from the Cantiere Nautico Feltrinelli, importer of the brand Frauscher, communicates his satisfaction as well: “A high interest for buying manifested by foreign visitors, especially from Germany, Switzerland, and France; a little lower the one registered among Italian people. The reason for this lies in the fact that we represent a more niche and higher level brand. Anyway, we effectively experienced a more interesting and lively exhibition this year.”
Finally, Pietro Vassena, owner of Lepanto yachting and UCINA representative for “small boat production”, seems more than satisfied: “We got here already optimist compared to 2013 because we had already been receiving quote requests for months. The good news, in fact, is that we got back to sell to new clients. I regret not having taken more sellers here.”