The biggest maritime trade fair in the world had a huge selection of yachts and successful interactive events. Words by Zahra Pettican
January saw the return of boot Dusseldorf, the world’s biggest boat and water sports trade fair. It was another hugely successful year for the show, which seamlessly manages to be both an entertainment and business platform. The event took place from 21st to 29th January 2017 and showcased a large variety of yachts and nautical exhibits in its 17 halls. The annual event included high-calibre lectures by some of the most respected names in the business, as well as entertaining demonstrations.
The 48th Dusseldorf Boat Show was attended by a total of 242,000 visitors from 70 countries who were impressed by what they saw. In fact, exhibitors reported excellent sales figures, and many noted that the German trade fair is their favourite international business platform. Jürgen Tracht, director of the German Association of the Water Sports Industry commented, “The industry succeeded in recording excellent sales in almost all market segments; an unusually large number of newcomers are entering the motor boat segment and prove to us that boating has developed into a genuinely trendy sport.”
More than 1,800 exhibitors from 70 different countries showcased their products, which ranged from superyachts to water toys and sailing equipment. The 9-day event, which took place at the massive exhibition site of Messe, really added to Dusseldorf’s long heritage of trade fairs. The large halls were filled with happy attendees and a convivial atmosphere.
Internationally-renowned shipyards such as Azimut, Sunseeker and Princess debuted a number of stunning yachts in Halls 6 and 7. The latest Princess 30M was displayed as the biggest yacht at the show in a revised owner’s version from the one she debuted last year. As the highlight of the show, her elegant lines and bold, contemporary interior design received a lot of admiration from onlookers. Similar beautiful vessels from the same builders are available for investment with fractional yacht ownership; the perfect choice for those who want to be part of the yachting fraternity without the full commitment of time and money that is usually required. Yacht co-ownership and Vacation Clubs have really taken off in recent years as people realise they can attain a luxury lifestyle minus the hassle and huge investment.
Demand for luxury yachts was greater than ever before and Jürgen Tracht anticipates that this will encourage interest in the next boot Dusseldorf: “Shipyards that observe the trade fair from outside this year have realised that it is essential to participate if they want to compete on the international market.” Boot Dusseldorf has firmly established itself as the best indoor venue to see spectacular flagship superyachts from the world’s best shipbuilders. Unlike many arenas, Messe can accommodate large vessels and there is a great focus on luxury yachts, including sailing yachts, motor yachts and catamarans.
In addition to luxury yachts, water sports are proving to be more popular than ever. New developments by all the top international brands were displayed in the form of diving computers and other high-tech equipment. Visitors were able to inspect, examine and experience the new diving equipment and water sports gear that caught their attention, making the experience truly interactive. The “WAVE” in Hall 2 was a great attraction for surfers and visitors alike since it came with an array of stunts and competitions. Surfers were cheered on by more than 93,000 fans and almost 1,500 people members of the public surfed the eponymous “WAVE” up to 4.9 feet.
Travel operators presented exciting international diving destinations that had a noticeably environmentally-friendly slant this year. It was a good place to get inspired about luxury yacht charter destinations or find out more about yacht co-ownership. Representatives from related agencies, organisations and services gave high-level advice and tempted people into new hobbies.
The truly interactive experiences on offer are what makes boot Dusseldorf stand out from other boat shows for both the public and people in the industry. It is a success because it isn’t afraid to try new things and build on the things that already work. The show has established itself as an enjoyable day out for all the family, not just those who work in the maritime industry.