'Cautious optimism' welcomed

The PSP Southampton Boat Show attracted 121,671 visitors, which is 282 more than last year.

Organiser National Boat Shows (NBS) is delighted with the success of the show, which has hosted more than 500 exhibitors and showcased almost 1,000 boats, from 1.6 metre inflatables at £389 to 130ft motor yachts costing £10.6m.

Across the board, show exhibitors have experienced good sales throughout the 10 days. While visitors have been willing to spend, the sales process has perhaps taken slightly longer than usual, moving exhibitors to report a feeling of ‘cautious optimism’ within the marine industry.

Paul Strzelecki, NBS Chairman, said: “I believe this show proves the resilience and innovative nature of the British marine industry. To have such a positive Show in the current economic climate is remarkable and we are delighted with the number of visitors who have come to enjoy it and, importantly, make purchases.

“We look forward to delivering a similar experience for both exhibitors and visitors at the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show

The Show’s success has been attributed to the excellent features and enormous range of exhibitors who have helped create a rich industry showcase.

Some exhibitors have experienced an excellent Show; marine upholstery and equipment supplier Toomer and Hayter reported a 50% uplift in year-on-year sales and yacht brokers Boatshed.com have secured sales or offers on more than 60 boats throughout the course of the show, which is its best ever result at a Southampton show.

Many exhibitors chose the PSP Southampton Boat Show to launch innovative and exciting new products. Almost 100 new products were unveiled, from new sailing boats such as the Southerly 49 from Northshore Yachts and Beneteau’s First 35 and Oceanis 50 to sailing equipment.

Anecdotal feedback from exhibitors confirms the Show concluded on a high note.

Ian Braham, Head of Marine Finance at Lombard said, “We are very pleased with the results achieved at the Show. There has clearly been an improvement in customer confidence which has resulted in us exceeding last year’s value of finance applications by 32%. This is a positive sign for the industry and we look forward to equally impressive results at the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show in January 2010.”

Alan Morgan, Avon/ Zodiac: “We’ve been delighted with the Show and have seen a very encouraging mood of improved optimism supported by strong year on year sales growth in all our brands.”