BUYERS appear to be back in force at this year’s Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, giving the health of the Gold Coast marine industry a shot in the arm.
The return of buyers has caught exhibitors by surprise and, according to organisers, there could be more to come following a surge in ticket sales at this year show.
Organisers say larger than expected crowd numbers at yesterday’s opening and a 50 per cent increase in ticket bookings could see close to 40,000 people passing through the gates of the four-day event, which is now in its 26th year.
The event this year has drawn about 300 exhibitors, who says have reported strong sales and inquiries.
“The buzz around here is fantastic and, in a generic sense, we think this reflects a continuing improvement in the general economic environment,” says Johan Hasser, the head of events for Mulpha Sanctuary Cove.
“With our pre-show ticket sales up by 50 per cent on last year and some of the early reports from exhibitors we are expecting a very good weekend both in terms of sales and attendance.”
The boat show last year was estimated to have injected almost $150 million into the local economy, and Hasser is hoping to see that figure beaten this year.
Sanctuary Cove boast show veteran Kevin Barr, from BarzOptics, says this year has been marked by visitors spending after several years of lukewarm interest.
“The numbers seem to be great,” Barr says.
Horizon Motor Yachts Australian reports similar sentiment.
“The people here are actually shopping,” says Sean Madgwick, Horizon’s sales manager.
“The P60 has been very popular, as has the P110 tri-deck super yacht, which is a showstopper and priced to sell at $9.9 million.”
Sirocco Marine North reported two sales and 25 new leads from the first day alone.
Day two kicks off this morning with serious buyers generally most active in the first two days of the event.