MILTON, Mass. – The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association and the Massachusetts Marine Trades Educational Trust hosted The Business of Boating in Massachusetts: A Professional Development Conference Jan. 16 in Quincy Mass., the MMTA reported in a recent press release.
The sold-out event brought together nearly 250 national and local leaders of the marine trades to contemplate the critical issues facing the industry, including diminishing public access, increasing regulatory hurdles, workforce shortages, marine fueling and pressure washing.
The daylong conference featured educational sessions relevant to marinas and boatyards, boat builders, dealers and retailers, and service and repair outlets. Conference participants took the opportunity to honor champions within and for the Massachusetts marine trades, including the 2006 Legislators of the Year.
MMTA honored Representative Paul Kujawski and Senator Michael Morrissey for their commitment to growing and advancing the Massachusetts marine trades industry.
Overcoming vocal opposition, in 2006 lead sponsor Representative Kujawski secured successful passage of legislation to open the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to gate shows – events where tickets can be purchased at the door. Without the passage of that legislation, the venueless NEBS would have been forced to close its doors after 50 years, MMTA said.
The 51st annual NEBS at the state of the art BCEC will accommodate 500 vendors and 1,000 boats indoors. The show will run from Feb. 17 to 24.
“The conference provided a venue for diverse participants to collectively address the common goal of maintaining and growing the marine industry, which is critical to our national and local economies,” said Kurt Saunders, MMTA president. “The Business of Boating conference reinforces the professionalism of the marine trades industry in Massachusetts and the dedication of its membership given the overwhelming response in registrants in its short two-year history.”
With 186,000 boats registered in Massachusetts, the state’s recreational boating industry contributes nearly $2 billion annually to the local economy and accounts for roughly fifteen percent of all such spending in the United States, MMTA said.
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