European boat show season begins

Genoa - Exhibitor numbers increase in Genoa, but no government support for the event: “No funding expected”. Monte Carlo leads with mega yachts, Cannes in difficulty.


di Matteo Dell’Antico

Genoa - Everything is ready for the start of the great European boating salons season: Cannes, Genova and Monte Carlo. Departure date is September 12, when France kicks things off with the Cannes Yachting Festival. The season will close with a show in the Principality of Monaco on the 27 to 30 of this month. Between these is Genoa, with the traditional Boating Exhibition that this year will take place from 21 to 26 September. The Ligurian event, as compared to last year’s edition, showed exhibitors growing by 12%, while around 60% of the companies who had participated in 2016 asked to increase their exhibition space. Despite the signs of recovery coming from the market, for the 2017 edition the organizers of the Ligurian fair - “The Saloni Nautici”, a 100% Ucina company - will have to do without the public funds from Rome that in the past have always been made available to the event. The Ministry of Economic Development, when contacted by Secolo XIX / The MediTelegraph, reported that “there is currently no funding available for the Genoa Boat Show”.

Last year, the Ministry contributed almost 1.5 million euros. But funds in support of boating events organized on Italian territory are frozen until the two associations representing the Italian leisure boating companies - Ucina and Nautica Italiana - sign, after months of controversy, a cooperation agreement in favour of ‘the entire sector for the development of the made in Italy brand’. Looking now at the events outside of Italy, Monte Carlo is confirmed this year as the number one European fair for the number of mega yachts exhibited on the quayside and the presence of big brands, whereas the Cannes event is exhibiting some signs of crisis. The Yachting Festival has been at the centre of a legal battle for the management of the salon between FIN (French Nautical Industries Federation) and the Reed Exhibitions company. The dispute resolved only last month when, after the claim made by FIN, the Competition Authority, one of the highest French administrative authorities, rejected the complaint of “economic abuse” filed against Reed Exhibitions, which will now take on the full and complete management of the event.