Attendance up for 2006 Miami Boat Show

MIAMI - Attendance at the 2006 Miami International Boat Show was up about 1 percent from the 2005 total, and organizers say they are pleased with the reports of strong sales they've received from exhibitors.

Cathy Johnston, Vice President of Southern Shows for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, said in an interview this morning that a total of 146,595 people attended this year's show - an increase of 1,400 over the 145,355 total recorded last year.

“From our perspective, everything went great,” Johnston said. “We had a nice attendance increase. But more importantly, the sales reports we are hearing are proving to be really strong.”

Johnston said she heard reports of strong sales from several exhibitors, including West Marine, which told her that its business had “exceeded expectations.”

Several also mentioned what they believed to be an increased presence of international buyers. Johnston said Viking Yachts told her that it had been impressed by the number of customers it saw from Spain, Australia and Venezuela.

Johnston said she had also received a similar comment on the international traffic from Tiara Yachts, and that show organizers have been making an effort to attract more international attendees.

Dates for the 2007 Miami Boat Show have been set and the event is scheduled to take place Feb. 15-19.

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