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Genoa boat show draws 21% more exhibitors for new slot ahead of Montecarlo

by  Raoul De Forcade

Genoa's Salone Nautico is sailing towards its 2016 edition, the 56th in its long history (since 1962), with the wind behind it, according to data provided by trade group Ucina management yesterday, and by I Saloni Nautici (a company controlled by the association), which organizes the actual boat show.

Recovering market (albeit slightly) and first positive figures for the number of exhibitors (+21%), booths reserved, and the return of companies that had long been missing. What's more, the prospect of Ligurian and Genoese public sector support with a public-private newco set up for this purpose.

The latter is to be housed in the pavilions of Genoa's former Trade Fair between September 20 and 25 – an unusual date (Salone Nautico has traditionally been held in early October), which places Genoa after the boat show in Cannes (September 6-11) for the very first time, and just before the one in Montecarlo (Sept. 28-October 1).

The boating sector's turnover for 2015 saw a +12% growth after years of declining numbers, and estimates for 2016 point to a further +7.5%. These positive figures are reflected in the early numbers for the upcoming Boat Show. According to Ucina data, confirmed participants so far are 21% more than the number whose applications had come in over the same period for last year's edition.

Moreover, 57% of exhibitors will feature a bigger investment than last year's, which translates into a greater number of boats on show and bigger exhibition area.

Another increase is in the number of sailing boats, +5% (and +19% in the average size of boats); +12% inboard boats (with a +16% increase in average size) and a sold-out scenario for outboard engines, which confirm last year's trend, like accessories and components. Not forgetting a major comeback for foreign brands (Princess Yacht, Numarine, Rodman, Bali Catamarans, Chantier Amel and Najad) and several Italian brands as well (Canados, Cantiere Cranchi, Tornado Yachts, Innovazione & Progetti, Gagliotta, 3B Craft).

Finally, there are expectations of a newco supporting the Salone's organization, owned by Ucina, the Liguria Region, the Municipality of Genoa and Cciaa, and open to other stakeholders who might want to join (the invitation includes those companies that left Ucina to form Nautica Italiana, 15 of which have also recently walked out of Confindustria).

We are told of the project by Ucina president Carla Demaria and by the governor of Liguria, Giovanni Toti: “We volunteered to set up a large newco, a tool that can supply guarantees for all producers, regardless of the respective associations, and which can get the authorities involved in terms of management and funding: the latter needs to be put to the best use if we want to help Italy as a whole become more competitive in terms of employment and wealth. We're ready to do it, in agreement with the Municipality and the Chamber of Commerce.”