Organizers said attendance rose 29.5 percent at the second annual Panama International Boat Show as an increased number of boats drew significantly bigger crowds to Flamenco Marina on Flamenco Island.
The number of boats in the water and on land was up 26 percent and exhibitor participation at the May 29-31 show increased by 28 percent, compared with 2014, the show's inaugural year.
"We are encouraged by the significant increase in attendance and the enthusiasm of the crowds and exhibitors," Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the Fort Lauderdale-based company that organizes and produces the show, said in a statement. "This show is on a strong upward curve and we're expecting continual, year-over-year growth."
Active Interest Media owns Show Management and Soundings Trade Only.
Conveniently located near downtown Panama City in the popular Flamenco Marina, the show offered an excellent platform, previously unavailable in the region, for Latin American buyers to meet and connect directly with noteworthy boat manufacturers and dealers.
The roster of top industry brands on display at the show included Azimut, Hatteras, Viking and Benetti, as well as Galati, one of the leading yacht brokers in the world. The biggest boat in the show was a Benetti Classic 121.
During a tour of the show, Panama Minister of Tourism Jesus Sierra Victoria spoke about the impressive display of boats, marine brands and entertainment as a positive attraction for the area, with a strong impact on the community. In addition to the notable roster of boat brands, the show offered fishing clinics, marine accessories, services and more, attracting visitors from around the region to a celebration of the boating lifestyle.
"This year we saw a wider variety of exhibitors and boats on display in the show. The attendance was great and we were able to see a substantial increase in visitors and qualified boat owners looking to purchase new boats, in comparison to last year," said Miguel Lopez Pineiro, president of Flamenco Marina.
"Our exhibitors are extremely pleased, as they have acquired a large array of new contacts and have closed numerous deals as a result of this show. The fact that we were able to not only showcase a compelling exhibition but also receive confirmation of sold boats and accessories as a result of the show, is extremely satisfying for us."
Flamenco Marina is a flourishing tourist attraction with a wide range of amenities, including 238 slips protected by two breakwaters, a dry-stack facility, 24-hour security, marine firefighters on site, a fuel dock with low-sulfur diesel and non-ethanol gasoline, disposal of foreign garbage, Wi-Fi, nine on-site restaurants, transportation assistance, fishing and private trip charter services, bilingual staff and on-site government offices.
The show was sponsored by Fuerte Amador Resort & Marina, Flamenco Yacht Club, Cable Onda Sports and Anglers Journal.