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VIDEO: Miami International Boat Show reports attendance boost

Attendance rose 7 percent at the 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show.

Attendance rose 7 percent at the 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show in its second year at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin.

Nearly 100,000 people visited the Feb.16-20 show from an estimated 30 to 35 countries.

Exhibitors commented on the show in this two-minute and 30-second video:

“With learnings from our inaugural event at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin last year, the 2017 edition of the Miami International Boat Show was a resounding success for exhibitors, attendees and the local tourism industry,” National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich said in a statement.

The NMMA, which organizes the show, invested in new amenities, transportation options and exhibit space, as well as transportation upgrades.

Visitors embraced the upgrades, Dammrich said.

“Our guests and our exhibitors continue to be thrilled with this waterfront venue, and we are, too — it’s clearly a natural fit to host the Miami International Boat Show, and we’re already looking forward to welcoming guests back to the Marine Stadium site in 2018,” Dammrich said.

"This year's show was a big success for us, bringing out a lot of attendees who were ready to buy. We sold more boats this year than previous years and are already excited about 2018,” said Patrick Turner, of Catalina Yachts, which is based in Largo, Fla.

The number of water taxis increased by more than 47 percent from 2016 and higher-capacity vessels were used. At the same time, the number of water taxi pick-up and drop-off locations was streamlined from seven to four to further meet the high demand for water transportation.

The shuttle bus operation was streamlined as well, from six to five, with one fewer departure location than in 2016, boosting the frequency of trips at all five pick-up locations.

The net result was fewer boat show-related car trips on the Rickenbacker Causeway, which connects Virginia Key with the mainland. Overall, Miamians again embraced the boat show’s park-and-ride model in 2017. The show counted nearly 90,000 water taxi and shuttle bus rides by attendees who went to or from the show from designated offsite locations.

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