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Sensational comeback for Palma International Boat Show - with royal approval

Final figures will show that in the region of 37,000 visitors attended the 30th edition of the Palma International Boat Show which came to a close on Sunday 5 May. Amongst them was the King’s only son, Crown Prince Felipe, the first time in 30 years that a member of the Spanish royal family has attended.

A keen sailor, even competing in the 1992 Olympics as part of the Spanish sailing team, Crown Prince Felipe paid a surprise visit to the Show to present the Marcial Sanchez-Barcaiztegui Award, the first of its kind to recognise those who promote sailing. Sanchez-Barcaiztegui was one of the most respected and loved personalities in the sailing world and played a fundamental role in the promotion of the sport throughout Spain. Having paid tribute, Prince Felipe spent more than an hour walking around the Boat Show, greeting both exhibitors and the public.

Chema Sans, director of the Palma International Boat Show said, “This was a completely different Show from 2011. Most notably, it has grown a lot, the number of exhibitors was up 25% and the sea-based exhibition area up 76%, largely due to the crucial addition of a Superyacht Brokerage & Charter Show – a venture that makes a good deal of sense for the Balearics.  Last year Monaco reported a record attendance of 33,000, we know for sure that we have beaten this figure and certainly had many more sailing superyachts on display. In total 47 superyachts over 24 metres lined the quayside of Moll Vell marina and, based on this year’s runaway success, I envisage this expanding to 65 or more for 2014.”

Chema continued, “All the exhibitors I have spoken with seemed to be happy having gathered quality contacts and conducted serious business.  Those promoting smaller craft may not have sold ten boats at the Show, as could have been the case a decade ago, but have had their expectations exceeded considering the difficult economic environment.  Many are already thinking about next year, discussing their stand and berthing requirements. And, with the all-new eight million euro Moll Vell due to be complete and open for business by spring 2014, the Show can only build in importance and quality.”

For the 30th edition, public and private sector worked together to remodel the show into a nautical week with TapaMar gastronomy, the Gaastra PalmaVela regatta and Maremostra Ocean Film Festival running alongside the more traditional boats, accessories and services. The intention was to promote the Islands, in particular Palma, and confirm their strategic importance in tourism and yachting – giving impetus to the economy and job creation.

Speaking exclusively to nautical channel NTVE.TV, Jose Ramon Bauza, president of the Balearic Islands who declared the show open on 1 May, said, “It is absolutely necessary for our economy, because now we want to improve our economy, we want to give opportunity for unemployed people and we want to be very proud of our industry in this nautical sector because they say we are the best all over the world.”

For more information visit www.boatshowpalma.com.

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