“Water sports enthusiasts from all over the world visited boot. People came from almost every European country. Our exhibitors have reported excellent sales figures, saying that boot is the most important business platform worldwide”, explains boot Director Petros Michelidakis. The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France are the main countries the boot visitors came from. The event also proved very popular in Eastern European countries, Russia in particular, this year, however. The number of visitors to boot 2017 from overseas Asian countries was considerably higher as well.
A promising start into the 2017 boating season
The atmosphere in the 17 halls on the exhibition site was tremendous throughout boot. For the corporate exhibitors, the trade fair was a promising start to the new season. Industry insider Jürgen Tracht, Director of the German Association of the Water Sports Industry (BVWW), confirms this: “Following the success they achieved in their business operations in 2016, our companies had high expectations of boot and these expectations were fulfilled in every respect. We had highly qualified people on the stands who were keen to buy. What impressed us above all was the international background of the visitors. The industry succeeded in recording excellent sales in almost all market segments; an unusually large number of newcomers are entering the motor boat segment and confirm to us that boating has developed into a genuinely trendy sport.”
A must-go for players on the international market
According to the industry association BVWW, sales at the trade fair of motor boats costing up to EUR 80,000 were very good, while demand for luxury yachts was greater than ever before too. Tracht anticipates even stronger demand from exhibitors from the luxury segment for boot in the coming year. “Shipyards that still monitored the trade fair from outside this year have realised that it is essential to participate if one wants to compete on the international market” is how he describes the market situation. Tracht thinks that one of the factors fuelling the interest of newcomers is the “Start Boating” campaign that publicised the sport for the first time last year with major water sports events at seven different locations.
Apart from the ship presentations – the exhibitors had about 1,800 boots and yachts on display this year – boot is home primarily to the entire water sports community.
Technical fascination in the diving halls
The recreational diving halls, in which all the top international brands were represented, were a reflection of how popular water sports are. Diving fans were attracted almost magically to Halls 3 and 4, where they had an opportunity to enjoy their hobby to the full. Technically interested visitors were enthusiastic about the new developments in diving computers and other high-tech equipment available from the leading suppliers. Travel operators had a compelling variety of destinations to choose from in practically every corner of the globe for anyone who was already planning his or her next diving holiday. There is an increasingly strong trend in this context towards environmentally sound trips and activities.
Surf spectacle on THE WAVE
An incredible atmosphere, exciting competitions and breathtaking stunts: the “WAVE” in Hall 2 proved to be the perfect wave for surfers and other visitors to boot 2017. Petros Michelidakis: “With the WAVE, we took the plunge with something that is unique anywhere in the world. The first standing ‘Deep Water Wave’ at a water sports trade fair developed into a major attraction to visitors right from the start.” More than 93,000 fans cheered on the star surfers not only during the contests on both boot weekends but also when they were training during the week. Almost 1,500 people – from beginners to the world champion – surfed the up to 1.50 metre high “WAVE” during the nine days of boot. Rainer Klimaschewski, the engineer who invented the “WAVE”: “I am very impressed by how many fans we found here. During the week, we had enthusiastic children on the wave every day too, thanks to the “boot for school” project, and they really enjoyed their time on the water.”
Focus on protecting our oceans with royal support
One of the highlights – both visually and thematically – was the “love your ocean” stand in Hall 4 with its ambassador Emily Penn. A co-operative project between the German Ocean Foundation and boot Düsseldorf with support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, it raised awareness of and interest in protection of our oceans and water environment. In the presence of the Prince of Monaco, the three partners signed a co-operation agreement launching the “Ocean Tribute” at the boot VIP event known as blue motion night. This award is being presented for the first time at boot 2018 in the categories society, science and industry to honour innovative ideas and products that protect the water environment.
Hard facts & reliable information presented by experts
Advisory centres and stages for the presentation of practically any issue associated with water sports are another very popular feature at boot. Boat DIY fans can, for example, obtain information at the Refit Centre, a mecca for water sports enthusiasts. It is a dependable source of tips and tricks about boat renovation and maintenance. The Sailing Centre is also popular with visitors. It reports about everything the community is interested in, including solitary blue water voyages, multiyear ocean trips for the entire family or news about such international regattas as the America’s Cup.
boot fans will now have to be patient for a whole year until the next trade fair takes place: the 49th boot is being held in Düsseldorf from 20th to 28th January, 2018.