The Barcelona International Boat Show 2013 exceeded the initial expectations, which were conditioned by the difficulties derived from the economic crisis and the specifics of the sector. The event has contributed to the invigoration of the commercial activity on the nautical market, promoting sales and commercial contacts. Besides, the timing of the show with all its novelties to coincide with the Fiesta de la Mercé (an important local celebration) and the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta, succeeded in making Barcelona once again the focal point of the nautical sector.
In its 52nd edition, the Barcelona Boat Show, the most important in Spain and one of the more relevant ones in Europe in its field, generated business and numerous contacts. “A large majority of the exhibitors have evaluated their participation very positively, hoping that many of the operations initiated at the show will come to a fruition in the coming months”, assures the President of the Barcelona Boat Show, Luis Conde, after pointing out that “we have managed to attract a large number of foreign visitors, mainly French, British, German and Russians with high purchasing power, one of the main objectives this year to counteract the sluggishness of the domestic market”.
A few hours before the finish of the show, 53.000 people have visited the show, a quantity that the director of the show, Jordi Freixas, evaluates as very positive “as it demonstrates the great loyalty of the visitors, whether professionals, yachting enthusiasts or the public in general”.
The show, in which 236 companies exhibited, has successfully revalidated its dual role as a commercial showcase and a discussion forum of the recreational nautical sector in Spain. Standing out amongst the main activities carried out this year, was the nautical charter conference, organised by the National Association of the Nautical Enterprises, ANEN, with the collaboration of the organization of the boat show.
According to the paricipants of this conference - amongst them experts on law and maritime legislation, representatives of yacht clubs and marinas and directors of service companies linked to nautical charter – the exemption of the matriculation tax for the nautical charter, actually in the legislative process to come into force at the end of October, has generated high expectations in all the subsectors of the recreational nautical industry of improved competitivity and more jobs.
The new nautical qualifications were also addressed during the show. The Director General of the Merchant Navy, Rafael Rodriguez Valero, informed that the qualifications are going to be simplified and made comparable with those of of our neighbouring countries.
Apart from the sessions and meetings for the professionals, a wide programme of activities was organized also for the general public, with an objective to encourage people´s interest in all things nautical. For that purpose, once again the Fun Beach Area was set up for people to have a go on a sailing boat, kayak, canoe or paddle surf. There was also a nocturnal boat parade and a regatta with radio controlled boats.