The boats and the sea have been the principal players in the Barcelona International Boat Show 2012. With over 700 boats – between the floating exposition and stands on dry land, the show closes its most marine edition so far, having concentrated all of the exposition in the Port Vell. The technological developments applied to nautical sector, the new charter services to attract new customers in times of crisis and festive activities such as nightly boat parade that attracted hundreds of people have left their mark on this edition.
The new type of show has allowed the visitors to see, touch and even sea trial the boats and the new water sports products. For the president of this edition of the show, Luis Conde, "The Barcelona Boat Show remains the best place to find a boat, as exhibitors go to great lengths to present their news and products with attractive prices and the best purchasing conditions for visitors, who have come in large numbers to enjoy the fair."
According to the show's director, Jordi Freixas, "This new model allows us to head for the future, because we have adapted to the needs of the exhibitors and the visitors. Concentrating all the supply in the port facilitates, despite being more exposed to the weather, the visit of the sailing enthusiasts.
More than 50,000 people visited the show, an amount that the show's director takes as positive "given the heavy rains on Saturday, a day that usually has a large influx of visitors. Many domestic and international visitors have shown interest in the purchase of boats, which we hope will materialize in the coming months”, added Freixas, after pointing out that "the new format has allowed us to offer new activities and proposals, like the boat parade, an unprecedented spectacle, which we hope brought the nautical world a bit closer to the citizens.
Innovative products and services
The Boat Show has again put emphasis on all aspects of innovation and application of new technologies in the yachting industry. "This year we have had the SmartPort” – indicates Conde, “a management platform for ports and a social network for yacht owners and cruising yachtsmen created in Barcelona for smartphones and tablets. A way for the technology to reach the sea and make ports and ships smarter." Other new features of this year were the remote controls for anchoring and joysticks that replace the classic wheel.
At the show the companies have also introduced new ideas to tackle the crisis. For example new forms of charter services, one of the few booming segments of the industry, have been introduced. Also standing out are promotions to rent boats at affordable prices throughout the year and new formulas that facilitate individuals to rent out their boat at certain times of the year to help pay for its maintenance.
Apart from the commercial exhibition, the event has also organized an extensive program of activities with the aim to foster a love of sailing. For this purpose the Fun Beach Area was opened again; the visitors were able to get an introduction to sea and learn the most basic notions of sailing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle surf or even literally fly over the sea level with a new gadget, the Flyboard.
The next edition of the Barcelona International Boat Show, organized by Fira de Barcelona in collaboration with the National Association of Nautical Enterprises (ANEN), will be held from 25th to 29th of September 2013.