Genoa gears up for 53rd international boat show
Some 1,000 yachts, sailboats on show, dozens of events25 September, 17:34
With its 180,000 square meters of exhibition space - of which over 100,000 in the water - the boat show will host some 750 international exhibitors and a wide range of yachts as well as producers of accessories and apparel.
There will be something for all tastes and all budgets, with vendors displaying some 1,000 boats ranging in length from 1.85 meters to well over 80 meters.
During a press conference in Milan to present the Salone, organizers pointed to the many improvements that followed requests from exhibitors and visitors at last year's edition.
Among the main novelties, said Sara Armella, president of Fiera Genova, the show's organizer, is the new layout, which was studied to bring people closer to the water, as well as the introduction of areas with specific themes, to help make navigating the show easier.
There are six themes: Power Village, dedicated to motors; Boat Discovery, targeting first-time boat buyers; Sailing World; Motorboats; Tech Trade; a new area dedicated to vendors of boating accessories; and Sea Experience, where visitors can get closer to the water, literally and figuratively, by following short conferences, trying out water sports and finding and buying books and apparel.
"The show is completely new, attentive to the needs of exhibitors and ready to surprise visitors," said Armella, adding that the Salone is among the most important of its kind globally and the most important for the industry in Italy.
While some changes may go unnoticed to casual visitors, one novelty will be noticed by all: the giant, new "Red Wall", a structure applied to one of the main pavilions which - as the name suggests - is all red. The wall is 450 meters long, 11 meters high and covered by recycled material.
And while red may seem an odd color to associate with a boat show, Armella said it was meant to evoke the idea of passion which drives so many people to want to own boats and be close to the water.
There will be many beautiful ships to evoke all sorts of passion, including an 80-meter super yacht, called Chopi Chopi, produced by Italy's CNR shipbuilder. Boats and yachts are a key driver of the Italian economy. During the press conference, Anton Francesco Albertoni, the president of UCINA, the branch of Italy's Confindustria business confederation that represents the boating sector, said the industry is Italy's fifth largest exporter. While the show is certainly important for business, it's also a key tourist attraction for Genoa, which sees in the Salone an occasion to show off its various cultural treasures and attractions, including the world-famous aquarium.
Buyers of a ticket to the show will find that their stub is called Enjoy Genoa Pass and grants much more than access to the fair grounds. Valid through the entire month of October, the ticket grants visitors special discounts on admissions to museums, exhibits and events as well as discounts in more than 300 stores, restaurants and bars.
Visitors who keep their tickets and return to Genoa in December will find other special offers and discounts at hotels and events, organizers said.