MIAMI — The Cartagena International Boat Show will once again have a strong U.S. presence at this year’s boat show, scheduled for March 21-23, 2015 in Cartagena, Colombia. The USA Pavilion, sponsored by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) will be 20% larger from last year, showcasing prominent nautical companies eager to do business in the region. “While still a relatively small market, indicators continue to suggest that Colombia’s nautical industry will continue to grow including plans for new and expanded marinas and continued government support. We believe that now is the time for our US members to establish those key relationships in this market that will serve as a solid foundation upon which to grow,” said Julie Balzano, export development director for the NMMA.
According to Balzano, Colombia ranks as the 26th most important export market for recreational boats and engines made in the U.S. With its proximity to the United States, its trading status and boating culture, U.S. boat builders are eager to sign up for this year’s Cartagena Boat Show. “We have seen a commitment from the Colombian government to develop its nautical tourism infrastructure and believe there will be steady growth in this sector in the coming years. We see the North coast of Colombia as a natural stop for recreational boaters traveling in the Caribbean,” said Jeff Hamilton, Commercial Attaché – U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia. Among the twenty-one exhibitors at the USA Pavilion, event goers will interact with a variety of companies that offer marina engineering services, air-conditioners, nautical coatings and paints, wakeboarders, buoys and water sports tow boats.
During the 2014 boat show, Dr. Shrink, Inc., the full service supplier of premium shrink wrap and all installation accessories, found their current distributor, NAGA, S.A., which is supported by the GAMA Level 1 Customs Agency. “With NAGA’s 20 year experience, we will be growing our business in the marine, industrial and transportation industries in Colombia, and see great room for growth in both Central and South America,” said Mike Stenberg, president of Dr. Shrink, Inc. Meanwhile, as Regulator Marine gets ready to introduce their line in Colombia, the company will preview details on their full line of luxury sportfishers, from the Regulator 23 to the all-new Regulator 41. Miami Nautique International, voted the prestigious Top 100 Dealers Award by Boating Industry in North America for four consecutive years, will also be at the boat show with their G Series Nautiques, which in and of itself have received numerous awards including Water Sports Industry’s Innovative Product of the year for 2015 and the Wakeboard Boat and Wakesurf Boat of the Year. Bellingham Marine, the company behind many of the most recognized marina facilities around the world sees potential in Colombia. “As the largest floating dock manufacturer in the world, we’re excited about the growing boating industry in Colombia and know that customers will benefit from our 58 years of experience in the marine industry,” said Steve Ryder, manager of project development at Bellingham Marine, which provides complete marina services from the initial design through construction.
As NMMA members continue their expansion into international waters, the Cartagena International Boat Show serves as a good option for the U.S. boating industry to have more trade opportunities. Companies interested in learning more about the Colombia marine industry and participating in the Cartagena Boat Show should contact Julie Balzano, jbalzano [at] nmma.org, 954.441.3234