Charm of the International Boat Show keeps the crisis away

Genoa 48th International Boat Show, which was officially opened at Fiera di Genova on 4th October by the Italian Minister for Economic Development, Mr Claudio Scajola, closed successfully today recording a large number of visitors and business negotiations.

The overall estimated number of visitors, while gates are still open, is 315 thousand.

According to Fiera di Genova SpA’s Chairman, Mr Paolo Lombardi,“This Boat Show has been a watershed, in spite of the ongoing international crisis. The new pavilion B designed by Jean Nouvel is going to become the symbol of the Show, the fair and exhibition centre, and the city as a whole, and will give us a competitive advantage on our competitors in terms of functionality and business development opportunities. Genoa Boat Show has confirmed its worldwide leadership”.

Mr Lombardi highlights other important new features in this year’s Show: “Thanks to the availability of the new pavilion B and of the new technical basin entirely devoted to sailing, the show’s layout has been almost entirely redesigned. The complex organisational machinery has worked effectively, thus bearing witness to the strength, prestige, and authoritativeness of the Show”.

To ensure the further development of the Show and, more in general, of Fiera di Genova, Mr Lombardi is now asking for more certainties regarding leasing arrangements. “Without certainties in this respect it would be much more difficult for us to meet the new challenges that we will be confronted with: the construction of the hotel that is going to replace the former Ansaldo building and the use of the technical basin for next shows. The Boat Show this year has integrated even more with the city, involving it with the interactive area set up in the Old Port and targeted at young people, and with the great show open to the large public during the gala night.

UCINA’s President, Mr Anton F. Albertoni, stated: “Over the last nine days professional operators have held numerous negotiations with a highly interested public and, although the number of signed contracts has in fact diminished, this is a very positive result, considering the international financial crisis that has taken place over the last week.

The boating sector is therefore proving to be a sector which raises considerable interest both from a market and an industrial viewpoint. The amount and type of investments made by individual companies during this 48th International Boat Show have undoubtedly contributed to the Show’s “endurance”.

In more general terms, I believe that the Italian boating sector has all the resources it needs to successfully withstand the current difficult economic situation: its international dimension, the will to keep growing, the constant search for product, organisation, and service innovations are indeed all important features of our industry”.
Some figures and the impact on the local territory

Over ninety side events including conferences, debates, meetings and presentations, took place at the Sea Theatre, the Press Centre, and the Congress Centre.

More than 1,000 people took part in the events organised at the Sea Theatre, while 400 pupils of Genoa and Camogli Nautical Institutes were involved in the School Project.

The six conferences promoted by UCINA as part of the Show’s calendar of conferences were attended by over 1,400 people.
The Water Stadium set up in the Old Port was also extremely successful: the swimming pool in the Piazza delle Feste allowed more than 1,400 children to try out sailing, thanks to the cooperation with the partners – Federazione Italia Vela (Italian Sailing Federation), Federazione Italiana Cannottaggio (Italian Rowing Federation), Lega Navale Italiana (Italian Naval League), Acquario di Genova, Società Italiana di Salvamento (Italian Rescue Association) – and the sponsors, Messina Line and Isolani. Besides the free trials open to everyone, the “Sailing for Schools” project organised with FIV gave 250 Genoese pupils the opportunity to discover sea culture.
As regards the activities and initiatives “powered” by the Boat Show, the by-now long-standing Welcoming Project (implemented for the sixth year in a row thanks to the contribution of Genoa Chamber of Commerce and the City and Territory Promotion Board) has allowed once more to offer the Show’s guests and visitors a wide range of services.

The shuttles operating between the Boat Show and fourteen city hotels, the blue-marked parking areas, the airport, the railway stations, and the ferry boat terminals have carried 60 thousand people in nine days, with a daily average of approximately 6,500 people.

This year’s new initiative, i.e. Genoa city tour on an open bus, has also attracted a large public and has been very much appreciated. 20 thousand bracelets enabling the visitors to leave the Show and re-enter it on the same day were delivered at the exits and 60 thousand people used the ferry boats connecting the fairground to the Old Port, with an increase which proves the great interest raised by the activities organised in the swimming pool set up in the Piazza delle Feste and the charm of a means of a transport which is unusual for many visitors coming from other cities or countries.

The new Boat Show’s website was visited by approximately 415 thousand people from 183 countries, who opened 3,800,000 pages overall. Each user spent approximately 6 minutes in the site, with an average of 9.5 open pages per visit. The exhibitors catalogue was displayed over one million times.

The press centre accredited 1,607 journalists, 167 of whom from abroad.
The Show was visited today by the Italian Minister of Defence, Mr Ignazio La Russa, who congratulated the organisers for the new, imposing pavilion designed by Jean Nouvel. “Since I own a holiday house in Liguria – explained the Minister – I simply could not miss the Boat Show and wanted to pay tribute to this prestigious event which promotes the image of Italy and of made in Italy products all over the world. I really hope that the Show’s success will serve as a flywheel for the Italian economy as a whole”. “The boating industry” continued Minister La Russa “is undoubtedly one of the best-performing industrial sectors in Italy. I hope, in particular, that the small boat sector will keep growing, ensuring benefits for the entire country”. The Minister concluded by adding a final reference to small boats: “I have seen many wonderful new boats at the Boat Show, but the only one I can afford is an inflatable boat, and my son already owns one”. TV presenter Carlo Conti, who a true sea enthusiast, also visited the Show in the morning.
Genoa 49th International Boat Show will be held at Fiera di Genova from 3rd to 11th October 2009.