Genova - Following the tragedy of the collapse of the Morandi Bridge, Genoa bounces back with its Boat Show. The 58th edition of the international fair dedicated to the boating sector opened yesterday, and, compared to the 2017 edition, this year has more boats being exhibited, both on land and in the water: “I want to especially thank the 951 exhibitors in the show. Despite the Ponte Morandi tragedy, we received not even one cancellation,” said Ucina’s chairperson, Carla Demaria, during the inauguration ceremony.
Italy’s Minister for Transport, Danilo Toninelli, announced that next month a new integrated computer system for pleasure boating will be approved and launched by the government; it will consist of a large database - a two-billion euro project - that will cover all boats: “The government,” he said, “is present here because it wants to enhance the extraordinary Italian competence in this sector. I’m committed to simplifying things; the new system will be operational in October, as a regime of clear rules, certification, and simplification are all needed,” said the minister. Last year, the brands present at the Fair numbered 884, with 1,100 boats exhibited, both on land and in water, and the visitor number was 148,228 (+16% compared to 2016). The 2018 edition already has some better figures: 951 exhibitors (+7%) and over 46 boats in the water.
According to a report presented by Confindustria nautica, in 2017 the global turnover of the sector in Italy was € 3.88 billion, +12.8% on 2016 (+60% compared to € 2.43 billion in 2013). Italy can clearly boast its credentials as the world leader in the sector. In 2017, 353 yachts were under construction, more than what is built overall across the seven countries that rank below Italy in the world ranking of leisure-craft construction. Italy’s production is worth 3.2 billion, of which 75.6% comes from exports, while the Italian market accounts for 1.34 billion. To date, 19,600 employees work in this sector.
The Deputy Minister for Transport, Edoardo Rixi, the Ligurian governor, Giovanni Toti, the mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci, the undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Manlio di Stefano, the president of the agency Ice, Michele Scannavini, the vice-chairman of Confindustria, Stefan Pan, and the president of the Port System Authority of Genoa-Savona, Paolo Emilio Signorini, also took part in the inauguration ceremony: “The Show is a lesson in how important it is to be part of a system, but also of how politics had gotten it wrong in past years. In the dark years of the crisis, leisure boating paid an extraordinary price as punitive political choices were added to the global economic crisis,” said Toti. In the future, Italy could open the first schools for yacht masters. “In Italy,” Rixi specified, “it’s not possible to train large recreational craft captains. The facilities exist abroad, but not in Italy. We want to remedy this, and we are coordinating this with the Miur.” Rixi added that the Salone Nautico event will demonstrate that “Genoa can move forward”. “As a ministry,” he underlined, “we want to launch the entire boating sector and harness its growth, especially in terms of employment. The establishment of the boating register planned for October goes in this direction, and is excellent news, even though we would have liked to announce its entry into force during the course of the fair.” “Italian boating companies are a point of pride on a global level,” said Undersecretary Di Stefano. “The Italian boating sector,” he explained, “represents the fifth largest Italian export sector, one that generates 1.5% of GDP, and thousands of jobs.”