The second edition of the Nautica Italiana-supported Versilia Yachting Rendez-Vous (VYR), held in Viareggio from May 10-13, attracted over 22,000 visitors of which just over 9,500 were professional visitors. This represents growth of over 25% compared to last year’s edition.

Of the total, 59% came from the EU – particularly France, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy – while among the remaining 41% non-EU attendants, there was a strong presence from the US, Russia and the UAE.

The event itself was also larger with around 170 exhibitors and brands on display and just under 100 exhibited boats from RIBs up to superyachts of 50m (164ft) or more. While internationally attended, VYR was primarily a showcase of the Italian leisure marine industry, offering visitors a wide range of builders and marinas plus marine equipment, accessories and services.

Nautica Italiana, one of the two main boat and yacht trade bodies for the Italian market, introduced the show in 2017 to provide a complementary event to the Genoa show held in September between the Cannes and Monaco shows. It is also timed at the start of the Mediterranean season and in a key location for the Italian industry.

“We are very satisfied with this second edition of the Versilia Yachting Rendez-Vous,” says Lamberto Tacoli, president of Nautica Italiana. “It has been a success in terms of visitors and businesses, and the widespread sentiment among all the participating companies has been a growing confidence in the project and its potential future developments.

“The organised conferences are very interesting: the Market Monitor research, developed together with Deloitte, the Legal Conference and the Design Conference deserving, again this year, to have met some of the greatest exponents of world design in Viareggio, thanks to the participating companies, to our partner Fiera Milano and to the local institutions,” he said.

Vincenzo Poerio, president of the Nautical Technology District and the Tuscany Portualità, added: “The data of this edition confirms the validity of the project that allows the Versilia Yachting Rendez-Vous to be accredited as an event attended by companies and shipyards that represent the excellence of pleasure boating.

“The participation of Tuscan companies has grown, where the superyacht segment is more representative and the intense programme has offered many insights and comparisons on technology and innovation and on European design. We will work to make the territory and the event even more attractive for brokers and international clients.”

Fabrizio Curci, CEO of Fiera Milano, organiser of VYR on behalf of Nautica Italiana, described the four-day show as a unique showcase that attracted buyers and visitors from all over the world. “Fiera Milano has made available its know-how in the organisation and management of major trade fair events in order to guarantee a second successful edition,” he said. “It is an evolutionary path that has all the winning characteristics to grow further.”

Lorenzo Pollicardo, secretary general of Nautica Italiana, told IBI: “We are very pleased with the event and the success it is having. Our membership is growing as we now have 109 members compared to about 80 this time last year. There are several members exhibiting here, as there are UCINA members. Our relationship with UCINA is developing and is increasing complimentary.”

The dates for the third edition of VYR are expected to be announced in the next month or so.