The 56th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was the largest ever in terms of exhibit space, even as attendance dropped 2.7 percent, show organizers said this week.
Show organizers blamed "abnormally high temperatures" for the decline in attendance for the show, which ended November 9. Attendance was up 10 percent for the first two days of the show.
"Initial feedback from many exhibitors tells us that this was a truly successful event, that demand from buyers is strong, and that many segments of the boating market are once again prospering," said Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the company that has managed and produced the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show since 1976. "Exhibitors have told us that a large amount of inventory was sold at the show this year, including a Bugatti Gran Turismo sold for $1.5 million by Fort Lauderdale Collection South."
Boats on Display
This year, there were more boats on display in all categories than in the past. The number of new and brokerage boats on display in-water was up 5.4 percent over last year. Increases were seen across several boat categories including the under 80-foot category, which was up by 4 percent; in the 80-to-100-foot category, which was up 11 percent; and in the 126-foot-and-above category, which increased 14 percent.
"The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show brings together B2B and B2C vendors, manufacturers, yacht brokers, and customers from more than 34 countries to conduct business at the best boat show in the world," said Phil Purcell, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which owns the show. "This year's show delivered on experience, expectations, imagery, new products and world debuts at all levels of the marketplace."