THE 21st Salón Nautico, Palma's Boat Show, is to be held between 24 April and 2 May.
The trade fair will comprise a floating exhibition of some 300 vessels, of lengths varying between seven and 40 metres. There will also be another 700 smaller boats of different designs which will be available for viewing on land. The Balearic Fairs and Congresses Institute, organiser of the event, confirmed yesterday that nearly all the exhibition space on the Old Wharf area off the Paseo Marítimo in Palma has been allocated. The Salón Nautico Trade Fair has the facilities to set up exhibition areas for the display of boats of great length and others devoted to specific boating categories such as pleasure cruisers and vessels for fishing for pleasure. In addition, there will be a section set aside specifically for boats for chartering, a market which in the Balearic Islands, as elsewhere in the Mediterranean, is becoming increasingly popular. Equipment for fishing and underwater sports, electronic gear, steering and communication systems, canoeing products, windsurfing accoutrements, light sailing craft or motorboats and jetskis will also have their allotted space at the fair. During the show, there will be a programme of commercially-based activities and informative events about forthcoming sporting occasions which will be celebrated in the Bay of Palma over the coming months. The boat show is very much a showcase for the local nautical industry, one of the key motors of the local economy, although it feels that over the past few years, its development prospects have been limited by the former local government which was against marina expansion and, at times, accused the industry of being eco-unfriendly. At the trade fair, industry chiefs are expected to repeat their calls for greater government co-operation and understanding, especially in the face of tougher competition coming from developing nautical destinations, such as Croatia and North Africa where the respective governments are pumping millions of pounds into their nautical sectors, in particular tourism. Nautical tourists are the big-spending quality tourists the Balearic government so desperately wants to attract.
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