Preparations for this year’s 53rd edition of Barcelona International Boat Show are underway. It will be held from October 15 to 19, with the aim of fitting in better with the calendar of international shows, maximising participation, as well as boosting commercial activity in the nautical market. Organised by Fira de Barcelona, in partnership with the Asociación Nacional de Empresas Náuticas, Anen, this major nautical sports and recreation trade fair will once again play a host to all exhibits and activities in Port Vell.
For the Director of the Barcelona Boat Show, Jordi Freixas “the latest data from the recreational boat market in Spain show that the crisis is touching rock bottom that will give way to a slow recovery of demand. We have to be prudent but we believe that this edition can mark a turning point in sector sales. In any case, we will continue to dedicate our efforts to attracting buyers from more dynamic economies, such as Germany, France and Russia, and also foreign residents in our country”.
According to the Secretary General of Anen, Carlos Sanlorenzo, “the event has to evolve in line with new nautical trends that are prevailing in leading European trade shows. In this sense, one of the factors to be considered is to try not to overlap with other international shows. With regard to expectations, the nautical market’s performance in February, with a 5% growth, is positive but some time will have to pass before domestic demand is stronger and therefore the show has to focus on international markets”.
In search of innovations in the sector
According to the opinion poll conducted by Fira de Barcelona, out of a sample group of 300, 48.2% of visitors to the last edition came to find out about innovations in the nautical market and 23.7% came to buy. Of the latter group, 54.9% wished to acquire nautical accessories, 25.4% motor boats, 18.3% inflatable boats and 9.9% sailboats. 75% stated they were satisfied with their visit and considered they had met their goals. The poll also shows the high degree of loyalty, since 90% had visited in previous years and 90.3% said they would return in 2014.
Spain’s biggest and most varied commercial platform in Spain
For the third year running, the Boat Show will concentrate all exhibits and activities in Port Vell, the only large Mediterranean port situated in the centre of a big city. In addition to the in-water exhibition of boats from 8 metres in length visitors will also be able to find all types of nautical products and services on land including electronics and engines, paints, sails, tugs, fishing articles, charters, sports marinas, small boats and inflatable crafts.
Experiences and sector debate at the show
Founder member of the IFBSO, the Boat Show will again be a sector meeting point and centre of promotion for nautical sports and recreation. In this sense, the organisers will set up the usual Fun Beach Area, which will have a zone for trying out nautical sports with sea access, in the Moll de la Fusta, where families can enjoy beginners’ sessions in surfing, windsurfing, dinghy sailing, canoeing and kayaking.
The Espai del Mar will host presentations of regattas, books, awards and conferences on the marine environment and navigation. The show will also host the Marina Tradicional Area will feature exhibitions of traditional wooden sailboats, workshops and concerts. For the fourth year running, the organisers will set up the Village, which will again be the show’s social centre and meeting point for business meetings.
Barcelona, the best city for a Boat Show
In addition to its undeniable appeal for tourists, Barcelona is the hub for a large number of companies and organisations that that bring all types of products and services to the nautical sector. It is also second in the world ranking of sports cities, behind London but ahead of other cities such as Paris, New York and Berlin, according to the latest Sports City Index compiled by TSE Consulting and the sports magazine Around the Rings, which takes into account aspects such as the success of major sports events and facilities.