Set to run in the popular Mediterranean yacht charter destination – Port Vell in Barcelona from October 15 to 19, this year’s Barcelona International Boat Show will provide its visitors with a unique opportunity to dive into an ocean of new experiences. Apart from displaying the biggest and most varied commercial offering of sporting and recreational sailing in Spain, the event will enable its visitors to surf the waters in Barcelona harbour or try out the latest aquatic gadgets, trips in canoes, dinghies or sailboats to experience the thrill of sailing, scuba-diving for beginners, recreational fishing, paddle boarding sessions, a parade of boats out to sea, regattas, concerts, gastronomic tasting sessions, prize draws, workshops, conferences, product launches, and much more.
‘The show aims to convey our passion for the sea and nautical pursuits, offering dozens of activities that will generate unique experiences for our visitors,’ explains the show’s director, Jordi Freixas. ‘It’s going to be a very interactive event with a programme of exciting, one-off activities which will thrill every possible audience, from beginners through to experienced sailors, with something for every age group.’ In this respect, one of the standout new features this year will be the installation of a wave generator for surfing in the Port Vell harbour.
Sailboats and motorboats will once again be the stars of the event, which is held on the Fusta and España wharves of the Port Vell. As well as the floating exhibition area, visitors will find all kinds of nautical products and services on land, ranging from electronics and engines to paints, sails, trailers, fishing gear, boat charters and marinas, as well as an extensive range of small boats and dinghies.
‘We’re currently fully immersed in promoting the show, and the excellent response from exhibitors points to a recovery in the sector which will materialize in our biggest-ever offering at this year’s event,’ says Freixas. ‘For exhibitors, the show represents their best opportunity to interact with end users, find out about their interests and concerns and thus improve their products and services and, in short, increase their sales.’
For the General Secretary of the Spanish Nautical Business Association (ANEN), Carlos Sanlorenzo, ‘After six tough years, this is the first edition of the show to be held at a time when we are starting to see the first positive results in the domestic market, and although domestic demand is still very far below the figures before the crisis, we hope that the ideas being organized for the event, especially with a view to foreign buyers, will give exhibitors the chance to generate new business.’
According to ANEN’s records, 2,289 recreational boats were registered in Spain in the first six months of the year, 14.91% up on the same period in 2013 when there were 1,992 new registrations.
The USA to launch an institutional pavilion
One of the new features this year is the anticipated participation of an official USA Pavilion thanks to a collaboration agreement with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which is promoting the Barcelona Boat Show to nautical companies in the USA.
Officials from the NMMA and their strategic partners from the Trade Office in Madrid confirm that the Spanish nautical market has excellent growth potential thanks to the country’s more than 7,000 kilometres of coastline, its strong tourism sector and consolidated and loyal market.
The Boat Show to present a beginners’ guide to sailing
Popularizing and facilitating access to sports and recreational sailing has been one of the main objectives of the Boat Show ever since it started. In this respect, the event’s organizing committee is strengthening its efforts this year by setting up a specific working committee which, amongst things, will be behind the production of a beginners’ guide to sailing, which will include sections on sailing permit regulations, sailing schools and the slipway register. It also plans to promote the world of sailing through new platforms such as the International Caravanning Show.
Themed areas for experiencing everything nautical
The show will once again have several themed areas, located on the Moll de la Fusta, where most of the activities will take place: the Fun Beach zone where, as well as showcasing products and services related to nautical sports, will have a test zone in an area of the sea where visitors can take part in beginner’s sessions of dinghy sailing, canoeing, kayaking, jet-skis and paddleboarding, amongst others; the Espai del Mar area, designed for presentations of regattas, books, trophies, seminars and awards, which will also host discussions and conferences on the marine environment and every aspect of sailing; and the Traditional Sailing zone, featuring classic wooden sailboats and a range of related workshops.
For professional visitors, the show once again offers a wide programme of conferences and seminars, most notably the various activities organized by ANEN. It is also expected that many of the exhibitors at the Boat Show will be organizing their own activities and parties at their stands.
For the fifth year running, there will be a Village on the Moll d’Espanya wharf to serve as a meeting place for industry professionals, representatives from every economic strata and sportspeople and personalities from the sailing world. The Village will have a restaurant and a chill-out zone with a marine ambience. There will also be a group of stands next to the Village exhibiting exclusive jewellery, art and fashion articles.
More than half a century of history
The Barcelona Boat Show was a founding member of the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers (IFBSO) and continues to serve as an international benchmark. On its 50th anniversary three years ago, Barcelona City Council awarded the show the Gold Medal for Sporting Merit in recognition of its work to promote the sector and raise the city’s international profile.
Organized annually by Fira de Barcelona, the show enjoys the support and collaboration of ANEN in its capacity as the senior representative of the nautical business and industrial sector at national level and as an advisory body for promoting and developing the sector within the framework of the event.