Boating tour generates $15.7 million in sales

CHICAGO - More than 1,000 attendees at the 2003 and 2004 Discover Boating and Take Me Fishing Mobile Tour have purchased boats since their visits, resulting in approximately $15.7 million in sales, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported in a release yesterday.

Those findings come from Info-Link Technologies, which tracked boat sales by request of NMMA, which is the tour's organizer.

The sales results, which were based on the average price of new and pre-owned boats, are a conservative estimate, according to Peter Houseworth with Info-Link Technologies.

“These sales results only account for sales that we can confirm,” Houseworth said. “The total number of boats sold to consumers is higher, but we are able to confirm this level of sales as a minimum.”

Among the boat buyers, 30 percent purchased a new boat while 70 percent purchased a pre-owned boat. That proportion is consistent with the proportion of new and pre-owned sales within the recreational market overall, NMMA said.

NMMA collected consumer contact information by giving attendees the opportunity to participate in a contest to win a new boat. This information was then cross-referenced with Info-Link's National Boat Registration Database to identify boat purchases that occurred subsequent to being exposed to the tour during 2003 and 2004.

Discover Boating Director Steve Tadd said the 2005 Tour is off to an equally impressive start, judging from the results of the first two stops at the Crawfish Festival in Lafayette, La., May 6-8 and the Lilac Festival in Rochester, N.Y., held through May 22.

“More than 60 people have indicated that they were seriously interested in purchasing a boat after meeting with our tour staff, thousands of people visited the display during the first six days of the tour, and more than 4,500 entry forms have already been generated,” Tadd said. “We have expanded our 'Mini Boat Show' portion of the mobile marketing display this year, and will be bringing up to 10 boats on each stop this year, compared to four boats at last year's event. With greater participation among local dealers, and an increased emphasis on boat sales this year, we expect even greater sales in 2005.”

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