The revamped Cape Town Boat Show drew over 7000 visitors in its first edition back at the V&A Waterfront.
Organiser Dana Whiting said the revamped format – the show was previously split between the V&A and the CTICC – appeared to have been well received by both the boating industry and the general public, with attendance figures only slightly down on last year’s figure.
The consolidated venue beside the Two Oceans Aquarium and the Robinson dry-dock featured a marquee exhibition area overlooking a fleet of luxury vessels from local boatyards and beyond. Leopard Catamarans, Knysna Yachts, Two Oceans Marine, and Jacobs Bros all exhibited some of their latest builds, alongside boats from distributors /brokers Dawid Abromowitz and Boating World.
Whiting said the overall industry sentiment seemed to be ‘upward’ despite stiff economic headwinds during the course of the year. He said the lower turnout was partly due to many exhibitors ‘sitting on the fence’ – waiting to see whether the new show format would proved successful. Judging by the overall sentiment there was reason to be confident going forward, Whiting said, and that the show could well expand further: “the Quality of the visitor is good. I could bring 30 000 people through the door, but if they are not the target market then it is pointless. I would rather have 2000 excellent visitors,” Whiting said.
“We bring the right visitors to the show. We aim our marketing at the yachting and boating fraternity. We were happy,” he said.