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Tens of thousands of core boaters to ExCeL London

23 January 2010

Tens of thousands of core boaters made the trip to ExCeL London to view the excellent range of products on show; despite the appalling weather upsetting visitors’ plans to attend the early days of the event.  44,500 visitors streamed through the gates over the final three days and resulted in a final attendance figure of 102,655*, which is 9% behind the 2009 event.

“To have welcomed over 100,000 visitors to the 2010 Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show, considering such adverse weather, has been reassuring for the Show and importantly the marine industry,” said Andrew Williams, Managing Director of National Boat Shows.  “Indeed, to have opened the Show on time at 10am last Friday (8 January), with exhibitors and the Show ready and waiting was an amazing achievement in itself.  Feedback has been exceptional and despite a quiet few days at the beginning, the atmosphere within the halls and support from the exhibitors has been superb.”

Visitors to the Show enjoyed over 500 exhibitors and almost 1,000 boats; witnessed over 80 new product launches including 18 global debuts; were captivated by high energy dance extravaganza ‘Rock the Boat’; enjoyed seeing the Corps of Royal Engineers performing high-speed manoeuvres on the Royal Victoria Dock; and were enthralled by hit ITV1 show X Factor stars Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon who performed live on the Show Stage powered by Fairline to officially open the Show, and again on Late Night Thursday.

Participation at the event has also been important.  450 people went diving, 320 visitors tried canoeing over the weekends and 2,500 raced model boats.  The BMF’s new initiative On The Water gave boating advice to over 1,000 visitors, from how to start boating, to what to upgrade to.  In addition, the Marine Trades Association’s Boating on a Budget project raised over £18,000 to help Burnham-on-Crouch house its new RNLI lifeboat.

Paul Strzelecki, Chairman of National Boat Shows said: “This Show has been a credit to our industry and those who work in it.  We have met the dual challenges of terrible weather and a difficult economy with a spirit of positivity and enthusiasm which ensures that we start 2010 with renewed optimism, looking forward to the PSP Southampton Boat Show in September.”

Terry Smith, Chief Executive of title sponsor Tullett Prebon said: “Tens of thousands of people in the UK regularly participate in both recreational and competitive watersports.  The UK marine industry is also big business, employing thousands and exporting products across the world.  Members of the British Marine Federation are world leaders in the design and construction of yachts, power boats and their accessories and this is an industry of which all in the UK can be proud.  “As such it is important for the industry in the UK to have a high profile annual exhibition to showcase the products and services it provides, and this year’s Show was no exception.”

Consultation with exhibitors regarding the development of the London International Boat Show has been going on throughout the week.  This has identified many new concepts and ideas and NBS will be developing these into plans to ensure the Show continues to go from strength to strength, delivering such a vital showcase for the UK marine industry.

With such a relevant audience making it to this year’s Show, exhibitors have been reporting strong sales and much positive interest.  Indeed, within hours of the Show opening last Friday, Nautique Marine announced the sale of a 20ft Nautique 200.

Claire Horsman, Northshore: “Southerly was very pleased again with this year’s Show.  In spite of the appalling weather conditions at the beginning of the week our stand, even though bigger than last year, was constantly full of people eager to learn about the Southerly 49 with its unique swing keel.  Overall, Southerly has had a very successful Show and surpassed our sales targets.  We noticed a distinct mix of serious international visitors at the Show and we are planning a larger stand for 2011.”

Michel Francois, Jeanneau:  “Considering the weather conditions we have had a good Show.  Combining sail and power onto one stand has worked well for us and we look forward to working with NBS to further develop our presence next year and beyond.” 

Peter Thomas, Sales Manager, Cornish Crabbers LLP:  “The Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show provides an excellent opportunity to showcase our boats at a key time leading up to the new sailing season. This year has proved no exception with our sales targets achieved and overwhelming enquiries into our new Crabber 26 giving great encouragement.  We now go into the New Year with a seven month order book and a line of firm enquiries that will take us through to the PSP Southampton Boat Show in September.  A well organised Show which has overcome the weather and financial conditions to provide a confident display to the boat buying public. Well done BMF and NBS.”

Miles Moorhouse, Fairline:  “We’re experiencing a bumper year, selling across the range from big to small to clients from all over the world.  We met our sales target for the Show before the final weekend.”

David Howard, Aqua-dock:  “This has been the first show for Aqua-dock.  We’ve been thrilled with the results, taking a number of orders together with enquiries from all parts of the world.  In uncertain economic times, it’s rewarding to sell a British made product at a truly British show.”

Richard Pillow, Personal Touch:  “We were pleased to see the dedicated visitors who came to the Show the first weekend.  We managed to take a bigger stand at the Show, thanks to NBS’ ECD scheme, and this proved fruitful as Saturday (16 January) was our best ever sales day including all the years at Earls Court.  Overall, we’re up on last year’s sales figures.”

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