Following the 60th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), Thomas J. Murray and Associates, Inc. conducted a study on the economic impact of the world’s largest in-water boat show. The Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), owners of the show, and Informa Markets U.S. Boat Shows, producers of the show, released the impressive results of the completed study this week.
The major findings in the report indicate FLIBS generated $1.3 billion in economic output throughout the state of Florida. That number is up from $857 million from the previous study conducted in 2015. Other increases include total sales of $715.4 million, up from $508 million, or more than $143 million in direct sales per day of the five-day show.
Phil Purcell, MIASF CEO/president, said, “The importance of FLIBS to the local and statewide economy cannot be overstated. Not only does the show have a bigger economic impact than any Super Bowl, FLIBS sustains the $12 billion South Florida marine industry and its 142,000 jobs for the remaining 360 days of the year, solidifying the region’s reputation as, not just the yachting capital of the world, but the refit and repair capital of the world, as well.”
Other highlights in the study include:
• Sales and excise taxes of $69 million in Florida, with $20.7 million occurring in Broward County (up from $51.2 million in taxes, with $16.9 million in Broward County)
• 61% of nearly 100,000 visitors came from outside the region, 49% were from outside Florida, and 10% were from outside the U.S. (up from 58%, 54%, and 10%, respectively)
• Visitors spent an average of $226 per day and were responsible for more than 72,000 room nights in local hotels (up from an average of $208 per day and 69,000 room nights)
• More than 8,000 full-time jobs are associated with the show and exhibitors expended $13.1 million in exhibit space and local goods and services (up from 6,000 jobs and $12.9 million in exhibitor expenditures)
• More than 200 vessels of 80’ or greater were displayed
President of Informa Markets U.S. Boats Shows, Andrew Doole, said, “FLIBS is the largest in-water boat show in the world and has been an economic powerhouse for many years. The notable increases in its economic impact are a testament to its significance to the marine industry, the local and state economy, and further solidifies its rank among leading boat shows around the world. The increase in sales demonstrates that quality buyers are attending, and that the show’s growth and improvements continue to be well-received. We are looking forward to the next show and to continue contributing as a major statewide economic driver,” added Doole. “There is a lot of pent-up demand to get back to life on the water and to spend quality time with family and friends in the great outdoors. FLIBS spans nearly 90 acres across seven waterfront locations and we are excited to bring the marine community and boating enthusiasts back together.”