New study highlights economic impact of FLIBS

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida and Show Management, the owners and producers of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, respectively, announced the results of an economic impact study conducted by Thomas J. Murray & Associates in conjunction with the University of Florida. The study concluded that the 56th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) contributed $857 million to the overall economy in the state of Florida.

“The continued growth and strength of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the largest boat show in the world and the largest single event in the State of Florida, is only possible because of the coordinated effort of the entire community,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management. “We thank the residents of the area for their cooperation and support during the busy time surrounding the show. We thank the hospitality industry for their part in making show attendees feel welcome in the community. We thank our partners, exhibitors and suppliers for their critical role in making the show a success. And we thank the City of Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County and all the regulatory and law enforcement agencies that come together to make this incredibly complex event possible.”

Phil Purcell, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, added, “The economic impact of FLIBS dwarfs a Super Bowl, and it happens year after year – contributing to the sustainability of 136,000 marine industry jobs and $11.5 billion to the economy in the region. It’s important to note that since 1961 FLIBS has consistently provided the critical economic certainty and job growth that our community and state want and need.”

Major FLIBS financial contributions during a five-day period include:

  • $857.3 million in economic output throughout the state of Florida as a result of the infusion of purchases and expenditures;
  • $508.3 million in total sales by FLIBS participants;
  • $380.8 million in estimated sales by Florida companies, of which $240.7 million was contributed by the tri-county area and $131.5 million by Broward County;
  • $51.2 million in sales and excise taxes, with $16.9 million in Broward County;
  • $304.3 million in statewide personal income and economic activity;
  • 58% of visitors were from outside the region, 54 percent were from outside Florida, including 10 percent foreign visitors;
  • An average expenditure of $208 per day by out-of-town visitor (hotels, restaurants, retail spending, local transportation); and
  • $29.6 million in non-local visitor expenditures.

The full economic impact report can be found by visiting

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