The Toronto International Boat Show (TIBS) closed on Sunday on a strong note, with an attendance jump over 2017 and exhibitors reporting steady sales of boats and marine equipment.

Final attendance for the 10-day event, which was held at the Enercare Centre on the Toronto waterfront from January 12-21, was announced as 77,493 people representing an approximate 1% increase over the 77,105 who visited in 2017.

“Last year’s show was one of our strongest for both attendance growth and product sales,” said show manager, Cynthia Hare. “We’re continually focused on expanding our strategies to bring buyers and potential future buyers to the show. Our aggressive marketing, special events and education programs have been instrumental in connecting buying attendees with exhibitors.”

Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the Toronto International Boat Show is Canada’s largest consumer boat show and the largest indoor boat show in North America with more than 550 exhibitors and 1,200 boats on display. Home to the world’s largest indoor lake, it also presents an extensive program of feature attractions including wakeboard and waterski shows, public boat rides, paddleboard demonstrations and nearly 300 informative seminars.

“We are very pleased with the success we’ve had at the Toronto show and excited to see our sales getting back to record numbers,” said Dave Mayhew, dealer principal for Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft and Lowe dealership The Boat Warehouse. “The quality of traffic was stronger than in recent years. We have a very positive outlook for 2018.”

Matt French, exhibiting with Grady-White, Key West and Rossiter Boats dealership Desmasdons Boat Works, was pleased with the level of qualified buyers. “The Toronto Boat Show always provides an extremely robust start to our year,” said French. “This year we continued to see quality customers.”

Widely considered a barometer for the Canadian recreational boating industry, more boats are sold at the Toronto show than at any other event on the Canadian boating calendar. The show represents a local economic impact in excess of C$354m.

The 61st Toronto International Boat Show will be held from January 18-27, 2019 at the Enercare Centre on the Toronto waterfront.