German boat show reports attendance boost

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Düsseldorf boat show organizers said attendance was higher this year and one industry official said the 45th edition of the winter show “gave a much-hoped-for boost to this industry.”

A total of 248,600 international visitors, compared with 226,300 a year earlier, came to the Jan. 18-26 Düsseldorf show, which featured 1,661 exhibitors from 60 countries in 17 exhibition halls.

“The mood in the exhibition halls was very good from the very start,” German Marine Industry Association managing director Jürgen Tracht said in a statement. “The number of visitors and also their quality and international presence were truly impressive. Their interest is making purchases increased noticeably.”

Tracht said small motorboats suitable for trailers and with outboard engines are becoming increasingly popular and are generating good sales for exhibitors.

“It’s the classic entry-level segment that is currently gaining attention, in particular, due to a new regulation that allows individuals to sail or drive a boat without a license for speeds under 15 hp,” he said.

Business also was good for motoryachts 39 feet and larger. Organizers said exhibitors maintained existing contacts, added new ones and concluded a large number of contracts. The demand for yachts in the 26-to-39-foot category met exhibitors’ expectations. Companies exhibiting sail boats and yachts were generally pleased with the results of the trade fair.

“This was true for all size categories, even though business in this segment was — as expected — a bit quieter,” Tracht said.

Organizers said the market for boat equipment and accessories was booming and exhibitors were extremely satisfied. Boat owners are investing heavily in convenience equipment and on-board electronics. The development is partly attributable to a substantial used-boat market with numerous products at attractive prices.

“We have fully met the expectations of the industry,” Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, president and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, said in a statement. “Boot Düsseldorf again confirmed its position as a driving economic force that is highly attractive on an international scale. The stands were crowded by professional German and international visitors, keen to make purchases. A total of 48,000 visitors came from 65 countries other than Germany.

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