International Grow Boating campaigns discussed at ICOMIA

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The International Council of Marine Industry Associations/International Federation of Boat Show Organizers Congress was held last week in Istanbul, Turkey, and industry members from around the world addressed issues ranging from international engineering standards to long-term growth strategies.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association reported from the event that several countries are initiating Grow Boating or similar campaigns to promote the recreation.

The first two days consisted of committee meetings, including the Environment Committee, where Albert Willemsen, ICOMIA environment consultant, presented new and improved ICOMIA Global Environmental Legislation guidelines: a concise outline of the latest environmental legislation affecting the European Union, the United States, Asia and Australia.

The annual ICOMIA/IFBSO Joint Session was held Friday morning. The speakers included Professor Refik Erzan, of the economics faculty at Bosphorus University, who discussed the Turkish economy; Cetin Ciftci, of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication, who talked about the Turkish government’s policy on recreational marine; Kemal Saatcioglu, D-Marin Group CEO and vice chairman of DENTUR, who spoke about Turkish boater and marine tourism; and Goetz-ULf Jungmichel, president of IFBSO, who provided a presentation about the new IFBSO structure.

The last day of the congress began with the ICOMIA Working Session. The speakers included Dentur chairman Alpaslan Sirkecioğlu, who discussed the Turkish association’s structure, vision and mission; naval architect Tanju Kalaycıoğlu, who spoke about design trends in Turkey; Professor Fulya Sarva, of the Mediterranean University’s Department of Economics, who talked about boatbuilding in Turkey; naval architect İbrahim Karataş, who discussed superyacht building in Turkey; and mechanical engineer Cem Hüroğlu, who spoke about Turkish marine equipment production.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association’s Thom Dammrich, Ben Wold and Tom Marhevko attended the event.

After a global statistics meeting, Dammrich reported that most of the European companies said they are expecting some growth in new-boat sales this year.

Dammrich also noted that during a meeting about growing the industry a number of countries reported using the U.S. Discover Boating campaign as a model to promote boating in their own country.

The UK has an "On the Water" campaign, Switzerland launched "goboating.ch," Sweden is doing Upptack Batlivet (Swedish for Discover Boating), Finland will launch a website later this year to grow boating, Australia has "My Boating Life," with Discover Boating as a part of it, and Japan is planning a Discover Boating website later this year.

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