Attendance drops at Toronto show

TORONTO – Total attendance at the 8th Annual Toronto In-Water Boat Show, taking place September 14-17 at Ontario Place, was 10,118, down 4 percent from its 2005 total, organizers reported in a recent statement.

But despite the slight attendance drop off, exhibitors reported strong sales and a quality buying crowd present during the 2006 event, organizers explained.

“Exhibitors consistently reported strong sales providing a year-end opportunity to clear out remaining inventory and get a jump on the selling season of the 2007 models,” said Cynthia Hare, assistant show manager. “The theme of the shows marketing efforts highlight the event as the ‘Boat Sale of the Summer,’ in an effort to provide retail sales at a time of year when sales would traditionally drop off.”

More than 250 new power and sailboats were on display at the show, which was produced through a partnership between National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada and Ontario Place. In addition to its in-water portion, the event also featured a tent-lined shorefront showcasing the latest boats and marine accessories.

The Discover Boating Centre continues as one of the Toronto show’s most popular attractions, offering free boat rides to those interested in learning about the boating lifestyle and experiencing the joys of being out on the water, said organizers. This year’s Discover Boating Centre featured nine boats, both power and sail, resulting in a total of 917 people receiving free boat rides — a new, all-time high.

“We’re really pleased we took a record number of people out on the water at this year’s show and gave them a first-hand experience,” said Lindsay Rennie, marketing director for Discover Boating Canada. “We hope we have made them boaters for life.”

Next year, the Toronto In-Water Boat Show will take place September 13-16, 2007.

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