Milan - FieraMilano SpA is eyeing with increased interest the recreational boating sector. While for now still in the planning stage, the idea would be to organize in the Lombard capital a salon dedicated to boats up to ten metres in length. According to sources close to the matter, the model for such event would be Düsseldorf’s Boot, the completely indoor German boat show focusing on small crafts, as well as on companies operating in the boat equipment sector. The event, which could be staged in the exhibition spaces managed by the Milan based trade fair organizer, could be launched starting in October 2018, with the opinion of the FieraMilano SpA’s new management team, however, being the determinant factor on whether the project for the show gets off the ground or not. Therefore much will depend on what takes place in the coming months, although there’s a definite interest in the boating sector on part of Fiera Milano, so much so that the trade fair company, in conjunction with the association Nautica Italiana, organized in Viareggio last May, for the first time, an exhibition featuring maxi yachts. Should Milan stage its own recreational boating event, despite the fact that the sector is showing signs of strong growth, it would certainly represent bad news for Genoa’s own well-established Boat Show, which could suffer from a similar event being set up so near Liguria and during the same period of the year. What Milan, unlike Genoa, would obviously not be able to have are the maxi yachts, and all manner of sailing boats, floating in the water. But a new indoor salon could still accommodate models from companies specializing in the construction of small boats, companies making inflatable boats, or those producing related specialized equipment. The ongoing success of Düsseldorf’s Boot is further demonstration that a recreational boat show can succeed even if staged totally indoors, despite the fact that most traditional boat shows around the world have at least some of their boats exhibited in water. The exhibition that Fiera Milano is considering staging from autumn 2018 could be more broadly expanded to include the world of the water sports industry, which is what has taken place in recent years at the Genoa Boat Show. FieraMilano’s objective, if the new project in the coming months gets the new management’s approval, would therefore be to launch an exhibition not restricted to just Italian companies but could include those from other countries, thus adding an event able to attract exhibitors from many parts of the world to the region’s offering of trade fair events. If FieraMilano does decide to embark on this new show, competition with the Genoa Boat Show will not be the only obstacle; much will also depend on how Italy’s sector associations will respond, as currently they’re divided among firms adhering to Nautica Italiana, and the rest that have joined Ucina.