Toronto International Boat Show Reports Attendance Increase


Canadian Boat Shows Inc. (CBSI), Bolton, Ontario, reports an overall attendance of 81,010 after the recent conclusion of this year's Toronto International Boat Show. The boat show organizer says the number represents a six percent increase compared to the event's 2012 attendance.

Held at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto, the nine-day show included 550 exhibitors and more than 1,000 boats counting kayaks and canoes. The evening prior to show opening, CBSI held its annual Special Preview Night, which has raised more than $600,000 for several marine charities since 2000.

"We continue to take a very focused approach with our marketing and features strategies, which is contributing to attendance growth and attracting motivated consumers,' said Cynthia Hare, Show Manager. "We're delighted that our exhibitors are reporting great sales across the board.'

Several boat exhibitors shared positive results coming out the event, with some reporting increased sales compared to last year.

Tyler Bisby, District Sales Manager of Princecraft said overall sales were up 10 percent at this year's show. "We were right on target in terms of number of units sold and are pleased with the sales of both our pontoon and fishing boats.'

"We've really turned the corner — this year's show was much better than any in the past three years or more,' said Wim Zegers, President of Anchor Yachts, dealer for Beneteau. "We love the set-up of the SailFest Upper Deck and I believe the pent-up consumer demand really produced excellent results this year.'

"We brought in 12 new models of pontoon boats to this year's show and our sales results are exactly what we forecast – which is on a par with last year's show which was our best ever,' said Brad MacArthur, Sales and Operations Manager, Legend Boats.

Exhibitors located in the show's Mariner's Marketplace and Cottage Country also seemed pleased with the show's outcome.

"We started strong with sales up 49 percent on the opening Friday night and it just continued all week,' said Jack Summers, General Manager of Radio World. "This is among the four best shows we've ever had because consumers were very value-conscious and we were able to deliver across all our product lines.'

"We're very pleased with this year's show,' says Bill Swift, Owner of Swift Canoe.  "We believe that our buyers are very intent on getting outdoors for some fresh air and exercise — and our sales of paddleboards in particular were very strong.'

The results of this year's Toronto Boat International Show was in keeping with annual sales statistics presented at the National Marine Manufacturers Association's State of the Recreational Marine Industry breakfast on January 15.

NMMA Canada's statistical report showed that Canadian new boat and engine sales are up 13 percent as of September 2012. The leading boat trend in Canada is aluminum pontoon boats, experiencing a 23 percent increase in sales.

Next year's Toronto International Boat Show is scheduled to run from January 11 to 19 inclusive.