Boat show reflects industry

Boaters and seafarers are heading toward Miami for one of the year’s flagship events.

The annual Miami International Boat Show takes place between 17 and 21 February, and attracts exhibitors from worldwide as well as closer to home, said Neville Scott of The Barcadere.

“[Many] Caymanians are as familiar with Miami as they are with George Town… personally, I’ve been in, on or around the sea my whole life – my first boat was hand-made by my grandfather in the Brac and it’s almost genetic because of our seafaring heritage.

“It’s a perfect opportunity to evaluate the state of the industry and get out there to see what’s available all under the one roof,” explained Mr. Scott of the tradeshow.

He added that for the marine industry it isalso a chance to meet with vendors and providers and talking to suppliers and industry contacts face to face.

Tourism industry

Cayman will also be represented by the Department of Tourism and private sector tourism businesses interested in the associated products and services of the industry.

Having a presence at the show means accessing some of Cayman’s key tourism demographic, too, explained Trina Christian of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.

“From an interest level, if they are boaters and water people with some disposable income definitely it’s the right target audience for us.Some of our private sector partners will get involved as well as they have clientele involved in that [industry].”

Artist, environmentalist and fishing expert Guy Harvey added that he will be at the show  with a special pavilion as well as taking the opportunity to multi-task.

“My brand has a very big presence there and I am the featured artist at the Coconut Grove Art Festival being held at the same time,” he said.

Strictly sail

The exhibition also features Strictly Sail, with more than 200 exhibitors of all things boating including the world’s largest display of multi-hull sailboats.

Mr. Scott said it is an opportunity to gain an overview of the marine industry’s present and future.

“The Miami Boat Show is like a litmus test; last year it was surreal to be there and see how small it was, about half the size it typically would be [in the past].

“For me personally it’s [also] a bit like being a kid in a candy store. There are boat shows all over America but Miami is a big show for unveiling next level technology.”

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