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Strong sales and tourism brought in by the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Exhibitors and attendees called the 55th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show a great success.

Rick Augusto, sales manager of Nautical Ventures Group, told the Sun Sentinel that this year’s show was the “biggest and best” yet. The Dania Beach-based group showcased their most-ever number of displays from paddleboard to small motorboats, where sales were strong for families not seeking superyachts.

Leading jet tender manufacturer Williams Performance Tenders also reported that this year’s show was the best U.S. show to date. “We were really pleased to meet so many new customers – with some visiting the show to specifically check out our stand,” said sales director Mathew Hornsby in a press release.

Robert Ghetti, owner of Canadian Electric Boat Co., also left with many leads from places as far as Greece, Mexico, Germany and California.

Taiwan Yacht Industry Association, which one of the world’s top 10 yacht builders, considers the Fort Lauderdale and Miami show as one of the most important. Chairman Charles Chang, who runs Global Yacht Builders, estimated that 25 percent of the company’s annual sales comes from both shows.

A study commissioned by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida found that marine sales grew 36.3 percent in South Florida from fiscal 2010 to 2014 with a 21.9 percent jump in Broward County. In the 2014 budget year, Broward's marine industry accounted for an estimated economic impact of $8.8 billion in gross output, including jobs and earnings.

On top of better-than-anticipated sales and a show that expanded over seven venues, tourism in the area was also booming. The official housing partner for the event BoatShowHotels.com reported more than 2,000 reservations were made for attendees this year.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau promoted Broward County tourism with its first-ever destination pavilion at the show where they gave out “Hello Sunny” tote bags with a destination map and information on local attractions.

Shuttle services were provided to guests at hotels along the A1A strip who were attending the show. And to top it off: the weather was ideal for the entire five-day extravaganza. 

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