The official presentation of the 58th Genoa International Boat Show, organised by Italian marine trade association UCINA, took place last week in Genoa’s Town Hall. Speaking at the event were Mayor Marco Bucci, president of the Liguria region Giovanni Toti, UCINA president Carla Demaria, and president of the Chamber of Commerce, Paolo Odone.

“The event’s outlook is, in a word, strong,” said Demaria in her opening speech. “As of 30th April, 98% of exhibitors from 2017 had confirmed they will be back, of which 64% requested larger spaces for their displays. There have also been 57 new requests to take part, 38 of which are from abroad.”

According to UCINA, the Italian leisure marine sector is expected to grow by around 12% in 2018 for the third year running. “The study carried out by UCINA’s Research Office regarding the 2018 forecast for the boating market has seen 69% of businesses confirm an upward trend in revenue, based on their order portfolio,” Demaria said. “The domestic market continues to grow, stimulated by the leasing sector which in 2017 witnessed an increase in contracts of 58%.”

For the international boating industry, the Genoa Boat Show is a key event and the engine for its development. “Between November 2017 and April 2018,” said Demaria, “we organised and took part in seven events a month, both in Italy and worldwide, a feat which was accomplished with the help of the Made in Italy Plan along with the support of the Italian Ministry for Economic Development and the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), who have rewarded the Genoa Boat Show’s success as the most visited showcase event for this sector in the Mediterranean.”

Speaking about the 2018 edition, commercial director Alessandro Campagna confirmed the “great number of innovations, both in terms of products and brands. The layout will be that of four boat shows in one, the result of an accurate study focused on developing sector-specific identities while providing tailored services for each area, allowing the represented sectors the necessary space to express themselves.”

How this year’s layout came to be and how it will enhance the visitors’ experience was explained by architect Paolo Brescia, one of the creators, along with the OBR research team, of the “Piazza del Vento” project, launched at the 57th Genoa Boat Show and was donated by the Italian Marine Industry Association to the city of Genoa.

“In our plan for the 58th edition we want to transport the urban experience of Genoa out onto the sea,” he said. “We are thinking of a town square on the water, a way of creating new sparks of interaction between people who will be able to meet others and enjoy being in a public space during their time at the boat show. A new perspective for the district, across the breakwater which in turn becomes an outpost on the sea, where visitors will be able to enjoy breath taking views of both the sea and the city.”

The 58th Genoa Boat Show will be held from September 20-25, 2018. Last year’s event boasted 884 brands and 1,100 boats on shore and at sea, attracting 148,228 visitors.