Attendance, sales surpass expectations at Toronto Boat Show

The 60th annual Toronto International Boat Show, North America’s largest indoor boat show, bids farewell to another banner year on Sunday, Jan. 21, with impressive results.

Attendance at the 2018 Show totalled 77,493, an increase of 1 percent from 2017 (which was one of the highest-attended in the past five years at 77,105). Widely regarded among marine manufacturers and retailers as the flagship economic indicator for the boating industry in Canada, demand for exhibitor space at the 2018 show sold out in record time in early fall of last year to fill the Enercare Centre with over 550 exhibitors, 1200 boats, and thousands of accessories and services.

“Exhibitors had high expectations coming into this year’s show following what was one of our strongest for attendance growth in 2017 (10% higher than 2016) matched by robust sales,” said Cynthia Hare, Show Manager for the Toronto Boat Show. “We’re continually focused on expanding our strategies that bring qualified buyers and potential future boaters to the show. Our aggressive marketing, special events and education programs have been instrumental in connecting exhibitors with consumers.”

New this year, the Toronto Boat Show introduced a $5 After 5 p.m. ticket and free parking after 4 p.m. on weekdays, which offered great value to attendees.

Despite high water levels in the spring and mediocre boating weather across the province, consumer spending throughout the show dominated the conversation amongst sales exhibitors and staff.

Dave Mayhew of The Boat Warehouse (dealer for Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft, Lowe) reported, “We are very pleased with the success we’ve had at the Toronto Show and excited to see our sales getting back to record numbers. The quality of traffic was stronger than in recent years, resulting in a very positive outlook for the rest of 2018.”

Save the Date: The 61st Toronto International Boat Show is scheduled for Jan. 18 – 27, 2019 at the Enercare Centre.

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