Australian organizers clash over show dates

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The Gold Coast International Marine Expo and Riviera Festival of Boating announced new dates that clash with the nearby Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.

In a press release issued Friday, the expo announced the new May 21-24 dates, new industry partners, 35 percent extra exhibitor space and on-site parking capacity, which organizers say will elevate the city’s status on the world boating stage, according to the Australian publication Marine Business.

Expo organizers said that from 2015 the expo will be brought forward to align with the dates of Queensland’s other major boating events — the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and the Riviera Festival of Boating.

"This new era of ‘strategic cooperation’ places the Gold Coast in the enviable position of hosting what will become the biggest combined boat show in the Southern Hemisphere, with major benefits for the marine industry and the state economy," organizers said in a statement.

However, Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show organizers rebutted the assertion of "strategic cooperation" and said the two events will not work together.

Show general manager Johan Hasser told Marine Business that there will not be a "combined boat show" as stated by the Gold Coast International Marine Expo in a "misleading statement provided to their exhibitors."

“New dates for the Gold Coast International Marine Expo were presented to SCIBS late last week and we were told the new dates would go ahead, with or without us,” Hasser said.

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