Vancouver show returns after hiatus

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Back after a one-year Olympic hiatus, the Vancouver International Boat Show is set to open Wednesday, making its debut in the new Vancouver Convention Centre and including an in-water showcase at the False Creek Yacht Club.

The show runs through Sunday.

"Some of our exhibitors can see up to 40 to 60 percent of their annual revenue as a result of the show," show director Linda Waddell said in a statement. "The economic impact of recreational boating to British Columbia is more than $1.4 billion annually. Our industry is a major economic contributor.

"The Vancouver boat show is the industry's primary sales and education event each year. Exhibitors and boaters are very enthusiastic leading into this year's show," she added.

Although analysts expect the recession-driven culture of thrift and frugality to last for some time, many in Canada's recreational boating industry sense that the current economic environment will be good for them, organizers said. On the eve of the 49th annual Vancouver show, dealers and manufacturers are optimistic that gains in consumer confidence and spending will continue during the 2011 boating season.

"We're thrilled for the return of the Vancouver Boat Show. It has tremendous meaning for our members and for the thousands of British Columbians who enjoy all that the marine industry has to offer," said Alan Stovell, president of the BC Marine Trades Association, in a statement.

"While the industry missed the opportunity to showcase its latest wares and engage boat enthusiasts under one roof last year, we're back at the perfect time and with more to offer in recreational boating than at any time in the history of the show."

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