With more boats on display attracting significantly bigger crowds, all signs at the second annual Panama International Boat Show pointed to a show destined for future growth. The show took take place from May 29 to May 31 at the Flamenco Marina on Flamenco Island in Panama.
Overall attendance was up 29.5 percent over the three-day event. The number of boats inwater and on land was up 26 percent and exhibitor participation increased by 28 percent compared to 2014, the show's inaugural year.
"We are encouraged by the significant increase in attendance and the enthusiasm of the crowds and exhibitors," said Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company that organizes and produces the show. "This show is on a strong upward curve and we're expecting continual, year-over-year growth."
Conveniently located near downtown Panama City in the popular Flamenco Marina, the show offered an excellent platform, previously unavailable in the region, for Latin American buyers to meet and connect directly with noteworthy boat manufacturers and dealers. The roster of top industry brands on display at the show included Azimut, Hatteras, Viking and Benetti, as well as Galati, one of the leading yacht brokers in the world. The biggest boat in the show was a Benetti Classic 121.
During a tour of the show, Panama's Minister of Tourism Jesus Sierra Victoria spoke about the impressive display of boats, marine brands, and entertainment as a positive attraction for the area with a strong impact on the community. In addition to the notable roster of boat brands, the show offered fishing clinics, marine accessories, services and more, attracting attendees from around the region to a celebration of the boating lifestyle.
"This year we saw a wider variety of exhibitors and boats on display in the show. The attendance was great and we were able to see a substantial increase in visitors and qualified boat owners looking to purchase new boats in comparison to last year,"said Miguel Lopez Pineiro, president of Flamenco Marina. "Our exhibitors are extremely pleased as they have acquired a large array of new contacts and have closed numerous deals as a result of this show. The fact that we were able to not only showcase a compelling exhibition but also receive confirmation of sold boats and accessories as a result of the show is extremely satisfying for us."
Flamenco Marina is a flourishing tourist attraction with a wide range of amenities including 238 slips protected by two breakwaters, a dry-stack facility, 24-hour security, marine firefighters on site, a fuel dock with low sulfur diesel and non-ethanol gasoline, disposal of foreign garbage, Wi-Fi, nine onsite restaurants, transportation assistance, fishing and private trip charter services, bilingual staff, and onsite government offices.
The second annual Panama International Boat Show was sponsored by Fuerte Amador Resort & Marina, Flamenco Yacht Club, Cable Onda Sports, and Angler's Journal.