The recent staging of boot 2014, 45th International Boat Show Düsseldorf, met the industry’s expectations and provided the boat and water sports sector with optimism during economically challenging times. A total of 248,600 international visitors (compared to 226,300 in 2013) came to the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany, with a high willingness to invest. Exhibitors reported business deals in many sections of the product ranges. The world’s largest indoor yacht and water sports trade fair featured 1,661 exhibitors from 60 countries in 17 exhibition halls, presenting new boats and boating equipment as well as the latest water sports gear and maritime services.
“We have fully met the expectations of the industry. boot Düsseldorf again confirmed its position as a driving economic force that is highly attractive on an international scale. The stands were crowded by professional German and international visitors, keen to make purchases. A total of 48,000 visitors came from 65 countries other than Germany,” stated Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. “Moreover, we succeeded in attracting thousands of novices and inquirers to our exhibition center. Our format ‘Experience 360° Water Sports’ was successful. Over the weekends younger generations and young families in particular made use of the many opportunities offered, trying out the theme and adventure worlds of the boot water sports disciplines, such as diving, sailing, paddling and wakeboarding. There are now two firmly established fixtures:the high-caliber professional show for boats, yachts and water sports and the water sports event boot Düsseldorf. With that we are making an important contribution to the future of the trade fair and its sector.”
Jürgen Tracht, Managing Director of the German Marine Industry Association (BVWW), was equally enthusiastic: “boot 2014 gave a much-hoped-for boost to this industry. The mood in the exhibition halls was very good from the very start. The number of visitors and also their quality and international presence were truly impressive.Their interest is making purchases increased noticeably.” Customers also paid greater attention to value for money and were well informed before they came to boot 2014. “They then made their purchases and placed their orders at the boat show itself – an unrivalled exhibition in terms of its international product range and clear structure. Customers used this opportunity to compare and then to decide on a product or a boat,” added Jürgen Tracht.
According to Jürgen Tracht, small motor boats suitable for trailers and with outboard engines, are becoming increasingly popular and are generating good sales for exhibitors. “It’s the classic entry-level segment that is currently gaining attention, in particular, due to a new regulation that allows individuals to sail or drive a boat without a license for speeds under 15 HP (11kW).]
Business was also good for large motor yachts from 39 feet upwards. Exhibitors maintained their existing contacts, added new ones and concluded a large number of contracts. The demand for yachts in the 26-to-39-feet category met the expectations of exhibitors. Companies exhibiting sailing boats and yachts were generally pleased with the results of the trade fair. “This was true for all size categories, even though business in this segment was – as expected – a bit quieter,” remarked Jürgen Tracht.
The market for boat equipment and accessories is booming. The exhibitors were extremely satisfied. Boat owners are investing heavily in convenience equipment and on-board electronics. This positive development is partly due to a substantial pre-owned boat market with numerous products at attractive prices.
The scuba diving section of boot Düsseldorf again attracted a large number of visitors – more than a quarter of all visitors were interested in the latest equipment and vacation destinations. Egypt is back as a popular destination for German scuba divers - bookings are up and so are the sales figures of diving equipment manufacturers.
In the charter segment, the visitor figures clearly show in increase compared to last year. German coastal and inland water destinations, as well as international destinations in the Mediterranean and overseas, were the favorites.
Boats and yachts are still the main attraction for attendees, followed by boat equipment, engines and technical accessories, water tourism products and services, as well as boat and yacht charters and scuba diving.
The 18 theme and adventure worlds of boot Düsseldorf were extremely popular with the attendees; the new “boot Sailing School” was a favorite. Nearly 1,000 visitors tested the sailing boats in the indoor pool. The “Refit Center” with information about boat maintenance was continually busy. Especially young water sports enthusiasts took part in the hands-on activities in the Action Center with its Beach World.
boot Düsseldorf 2014 catered to every boating and water sports interest, and according to a survey, well over 90 percent of the attendees reported that the show met their expectations.