Boating enthusiasts have turned out in record numbers for Queensland’s biggest boat show and the significant economic benefits from the show’s record sales are now set to energise the marine industry for many weeks, months and years.
Over 23,000 visitors from around Australia and the world streamed through the Gold Coast International Boat Show’s welcome gates for a massive $150 million showcase this year staged for the first time over three days in March.
Event & Marketing Manager Emma Brown said thousands of boating families were genuinely excited to ‘see it all first’ at the Gold Coast boat show created specifically for families who just love the boating life.
“The majority of our visitors are experienced boaters but there were also many families who are completely new to boating who were able to experience everything from free sailing and waterskiing lessons to fishing demonstrations, boat-building factory tours and even no-obligation sea trials with The Mercury Edge,” she said.
“It’s very gratifying to play a part in helping those families to experience and enjoy all the rewards of the boating life.”
Mrs Brown said confirmed sales as a direct result of Australia’s first major boat show of the year are extremely strong and will tally well into the tens of millions of dollars.
“From everything we’ve heard from exhibitors today we know those direct sales from the show will surpass everything we’ve done before,” she said.
“We’ve absolutely eclipsed all our previous records – visitor numbers, sales at the show, the number of boats on display, exhibitor numbers and our massive Fleet of Firsts for product and boat premieres.
“Our new marina link was another significant step forward. Everyone just loved the way it opened up the entire waterfront along the Coomera River.
“In so many respects, 2017 really has been a turning point for our boat show and for our marine industry – it’s fantastic.”
Mrs Brown said the Gold Coast boat show’s record 230 exhibitors on the water and on land all reported strong sales results.
“Friday and Saturday were both significantly up on last year’s visitation, even Sunday with its showers and late storm eclipsed last year’s attendance,” she said.
“The overall show visitation number was up 18 per cent and that is very rewarding given this year we packaged the boat show into three days from four in response to exhibitor feedback.”
“We already have a significant number of new exhibitors who want to be here next year, and many existing exhibitors have expressed their desire to take even more space.
“The 2018 Gold Coast International Boat Show will be massive.”
The show’s 2017 exhibitors are now busily following up and finalising even further sales from the quality levels of enquiry across the board.
“Our exhibitors are buoyed by the support of the boating community and they are now actively converting leads generated at the show into confirmed sales,” said Mrs Brown.
“Most exhibitors are honouring their boat show specials until the end of this week to help get families out on the water having fun in time for Easter.”