Genova - Queues for tickets had not been seen for some years. They’re confirmation that after years in crisis, the edition of the Genoa International Boat Show that opened yesterday in the exhibition spaces of the Genova Fair, could turn out to be the one marking a recovery for the event. Thanks especially to the leisure boating sector which is showing significant signs of improvement in Italy, in particular, and globally. According to data released by the Ucina organizers this year saw an increase in both exhibitors and boats in the water. Encouraging numbers, even though the golden age of the event, when tickets would sell out, are still a distant memory. Boat manufacturers, from large yacht to sailboat builders, were the first to show their optimism by deciding to come to Genoa: “This year we have more boats at Genoa than last year,” said Barbara Amerio of Amer Yachts, owner of a family-owned company that builds large pleasure boats, and that received, just a few days ago in Cannes, the “Innovation Award” for the second consecutive time. “Italians have started buying again,” said Cataldo Aprea, CEO of Imbarcazioni d’Italia, -“even though talk of recovery is perhaps premature. Let’s say we’re moving forward compared with the past.” Good news was also reported from the sailboat segment: “We already have many appointments booked in with prospective customers, we’re expecting to achieve good results from our presence here in Liguria,” said Valentina Gandini, boss at Mylius. According to Agostino Gallozzi, Campania-based terminal operator and chairman of Marina d’Arechi’s, the Genoese event “has all the potential to once more become a benchmark event for the sector. The main thing,” he added, “is that the event should not simply showcase boat manufacturing, but the whole range of Italian boating: it should be the key event for pleasure boating, leisure crafts, marinas and all those activities that are centred around water-based tourism which contribute increasingly to the overall turnover of Italy’s industry.” In the opening day (September 21st) there was good news regarding public funding for the Genoa Boat Show, too, in the form of around 1.5 million euro. Transport Minister, Graziano Delrio, in fact assured that government support will be provided for this 2017 edition as well: “There has been some delays,” Delrio explained, “but I’ve talked with Calenda, the Minister for Economic Development, and he said that he sees no problem.”
The contribution of Italy’s leisure boating industry to the country’s GDP was 1.92 per thousand in 2016, exceeding the value of 2.86 billion euro, with a 19% increase over 2015. Employment figures also saw a positive trend, posting a 1.9% increase, equal to an 18,480-strong workforce. These statistics were compiled for an annual report titled “La nautica in cifre” (boating in numbers), a study undertaken by Ucina in collaboration with the Edison Foundation. The growth of the Italian boating sector recorded in 2015 strengthened in 2016 with an 18.6% rise in revenues. Of the 2.86 billion euros obtained by Italy’s boating industry, 76.2% resulted from sales abroad and 23.8% domestically.
By products and services, the biggest contributor was the construction of new vessels, which generated more than half of the total revenues (57%), followed by accessories (29%), engines (8%), refits, repairs and storage (6%).