World marinas conference selects Amsterdam as 2016 site

Amsterdam RAI will organize the biennial ICOMIA World Marinas Conference for the second time in a row.
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Amsterdam RAI will organize the biennial ICOMIA World Marinas Conference for the second time in a row.

Hosted by the Holland Marine Industry Association, the conference will be held during METS 2016 from Nov. 17-19 in Amsterdam RAI. The RAI organized the 2014 conference in Istanbul, Turkey, on behalf of ICOMIA.

As the key initiative of its outreach and support program, the ICOMIA Marinas Group organizes and presents the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference every two years. The gathering is aimed at marina owners, operators, developers, consultants, service providers, government officials, equipment manufacturers, nautical tourism promoters, and port and harbor operators.

The conference is a traveling event, held every two years in venues around the world.

“Having been impressed with the Amsterdam RAI’s ability to serve as a conference organizer in Istanbul last year, we are confident that the choice to now turn to Amsterdam RAI as both organizer and location for WMC 2016 is an excellent one,” ICOMIA secretary general Tony Rice said in a statement. “Held from 17 to 19 November concurrently with the METS, and hand in hand with the METS Marina and Yard Exhibition, the symmetry of these events is certain to prove extremely beneficial to all attendees and exhibitors.”

The 1,000-member Holland trade group will host the event. Established in 1932 as a boat show organizer, the group today lends its name to the two largest annual events in the Netherlands: the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show in Amsterdam RAI in March and the HISWA on-water Boat Show in the Amsterdam Marina in September.

“We will be delighted to welcome the WMC back to Holland next year,” HISWA director Geert Dijks said. “The first ICOMIA WMC was held here in 1993, reflecting the fact that watersports has its origins in our country. The first pleasure craft were built by the Dutch in the 1600s, and the first marinas and yacht clubs were opened in Holland. The Netherlands is now one of the most developed watersports countries in the world. It has the highest density of marinas and marine companies within a 100-kilometer radius and an impressive variety of watersports, infrastructure, waterways and related facilities.”