Staff Reporter
THE Palma Boat Show, organised by the Balearic Fairs and Congresses, opens its doors today and will remain open until 2 May on the Moll Vell (Old Wharf) on the city's Paseo Marítimo.

The exhibition will display a large selection of products related to many kinds of seagoing vessels and tourist sailing holidays.
The event was officially presented yesterday by its director, José María Sans; the director of Balearic Fairs and Congresses, Joan Bibiloni; the president of the Association of Balearic Nautical companies, Margarita Dahlberg; and the director general of Tourist Promotion, Eduardo Gamero. Gamero highlighted the interest that the regional government is showing in promoting sailing and water sports for tourists.

The occasion this year will host 150 exhibitors on stands at the show, 412 companies will be represented, as will 3'500 brand names, spread out over a floor and water surface area of 32'500 square metres.

The section of the show with floating exhibits will comprise 300 vessels with lengths of between 7 and 40 metres; and on land, 700 smaller boats, all of different models.

The boat show this year has adhered to a new official policy of collecting waste water from the vessels in order to avoid pollution. Fairs and Congresses will make a bilge cleaning machine available to participating companies so there will be no need to pump out fouled water into the sea.

José María Sans explained that on this occasion, the average length of the boats on display has increased in comparison with previous years, resulting in “a greater spectacular consisting of less vessels”. He was confident that “looking ahead two years” there are possibilities to extend the exhibition area without the necessity to change its venue.

The Boat Show director drew attention to how the exhibition has been “sectioned” this year. There will be different “spaces” for cruisers, vessels for pleasure fishing, and charter boats.

During the show, exhibiting companies will organised a programme of commercial activities.
Margarita Dahlberg signalled that recreational boating activity has experienced growing demand over the last few years. She believed that the pastime was showing no signs of diminishing judging from the scarcity of mooring space at marinas around the island.

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