Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show organisers have been buoyed by sales and visitor numbers following a bumper opening day on the Gold Coast today.
Exhibitor numbers were up on last year, with the 327 exhibitors in attendance reporting strong sales leads and strong inquiries while event organisers indicated increased visitor numbers through the gates compared to last year.
Included in the early sales were a Grady White luxury sports fishing boat in the opening hours of the show.
Mulpha Sanctuary Cove executive general manager Keith Allardice said early indications were very good for Australia’s premier international boat show, which continues through this weekend.
'The feedback from both visitors and exhibitors is very encouraging and gives us every indication that this year will be an improvement on the last few years,' he said.
'This will be great for the marine industry and local manufacturers in general.
'We have been sensing a turnaround and hopefully the early sales and inquiries will confirm things are improving.'
Australia’s premier international boat show was officially opened by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate who declared the Show a vital annual event on the Gold Coast calendar. The Boat Show is in its 25th year and is one of the city’s longest standing events.
Peter Hill of international distributor Integrity Yachts, reported strong sales leads surpassing last year’s.
'We’ve been very encouraged by the inquiries in the opening few hours of the Show and if this is a sign of the next four days then we are in for a great Show,' he said.
Kim McKee, marketing manager for Queensland based importer Multihull Solutions, said there was high interest in their Fontaine Pajot Summerland 40’s while Mike Garrett, east coast operations manager of Australian manufacturer Sunseeker said there was ‘excellent feedback and strong inquiry' on its Manhattan 53.
Russell Wright, owner of Horizon Motor Yachts Australia said: 'The most notable difference was the crowds from 10am – crowds other years don’t usually arrive until 12pm.'
Brad Mooney, director of local company Benelli said the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show was crucial for manufacturers and exhibitors.
'If you don’t come to this Boat Show you miss out on enormous opportunities and the organisation of this event in such an idyllic location makes the Show so special. It is definitely the show to be at,' he said.
Maritimo USA President, Dave Northrop, said the drop in the dollar was encouraging.
'We hope that it drifts a little lower and stabilizes below parity,' he said.
'A lower dollar and a continued improvement in the market conditions will be warmly welcomed by all involved in the Maritimo family.'
Mr Northrop said the two new models being launched by Maritimo at Sanctuary Cove, the M50 cruising Motoryacht and the S 50 Sedan were exceptional vessels and he believed they would be well accepted in the US.
Major highlights for tomorrow’s show day include:
• Gold Coast Suns players meet and greet fans and sign autographs
• Cooking demonstrations with Creek to Coast’s Sally Jenyns, Dean Miller and Scott Hillier
• Casey Barnes performing live with his band KICK
by Morgan O'Brien
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11:20 AM Thu 23 May 2013GMT
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2013 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
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