Boat show season steams into South Florida

It’s Boat Show Season again in Florida and the continued growth of the South Florida Marine Sector that presently generates US$12 billion in value, supports more than 140,000 jobs and accounts for over $4.2 million in wages is again on display. CJC’s Miami office is well placed to participate.

Starting in October with the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, followed by the Miami International Boat Show in February and winding up with The Palm Beach Boat Show in March, the South Florida Boat Show trifecta grows ever more impressive and dominant.  CJC Miami’s office will be attending.

While each of the South Florida shows attracts a global audience and has an economic impact of hundreds of millions of dollars, the Fort Lauderdale Show remains the Grand Dame.  This past year, the Fort Lauderdale Show drew approximately 110,000 visitors and 1,200 Exhibitors, with 1,500 vessels on display, including 140 vessels surpassing 30m in length.  The combined value of all of these exhibits was a mere $2.2 billion and the economic contribution of the show to the State of Florida has been estimated at just under $900 million.

Next on the calendar, and another must for CJC, is the Miami Show taking place 13-17 February. Last year the Miami Show attracted 91,500 visitors with more than 1,000 exhibits and hundreds of millions of dollars of boats on display. It is estimated that this year’s show will be even bigger, with more exhibitors, more yachts, more attendees and a greater economic impact on the region.

Last but equally prominent is the Palm Beach International Boat Show in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Palm Beach show saw a 6.7% increase in attendance from 2018 to 2019 and featured more than $1.2 billion worth of boats and accessories on display. After the Fort Lauderdale Show introduced its “Superyacht Village” in October of last year, the Palm Beach show will follow suit with its own dedicated superyacht display adjacent to the main show. 

What truly sets these shows apart, however, is the relatively large number of real buyers who attend with cash on hand to buy the dream of a lifetime. Not only do the shows continue to display this growing industry segment, they also bring an economic impact that extends far beyond the marine sector itself.