Attendance at this year's Miami International Boat Show held in Miami, FL at the Miami Beach Convention Center and Sea Isle Marina and Yachting Center, February 12-16, had an attendance of 96,736, a decrease of 26 percent from 2008. Attendance for the Strictly Sail segment of the show was 19,723, a decrease of 13 percent from last year, according to show organizers.
Despite the decrease in attendance at both shows, competitive prices and special show deals drew eager buyers, exceeding many exhibitor expectations.
“Exhibitors offered the best deals we've seen in years, plus incredible incentives that contributed to fair sales numbers during these tough economic times,” said Cathy Rick-Joule, Miami International Boat Show manager. “The recreational boating industry in the United States currently represents 37.5 billion dollars.”
Based on the number of new and innovative product introductions, manufacturers have maintained strong levels of R&D, even during the current economic slowdown. For instance, the Sea-Doo division of Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) received several awards for its new Sea Doo GTX iS and RXT iS 255 PWCs, featuring active suspension and the first on- water jet braking system. The GTX iS also received an Innovation Award during the event.
Among the several other manufacturers to introduce novel marine products for which they received an Innovation Award included Simrad for its more powerful, accurate and yet safer broadband BR-24 radar system, Vetus for its new, flexible durable bladder tank, Mako for the new 18 Light Tackle Skiff and Boston Whaler for the 280 Outrage.
“We really focused our marketing efforts on making sure the attendee knew they would find great deals at the show in addition to a number of budget-friendly options showcased at this year's new Affordability Pavilion, which received tremendous positive feedback from attendees,” said Rick-Joule.
The 69th Miami International Boat Show is set for Feb. 11-15, 2010.
(*Ed Note: For more information on the Innovation Awards, see Innovative Awards at 2009 Miami International Boat Show story in our archives section. For more information on Sea-Doo's new technology see Sea-Doo Story in the current news section.)