By Humphrey Carter
WORK began yesterday on dismantling the Balearic boat show which closed its doors to the public in Palma on Sunday evening.
An estimated 40'000 people visited the show this year, according to the organisers, and nearly 90 per cent of the exhibitors have already booked their stand for next year's event.

The dates for the 22nd Balearic boat show were announced yesterday.
It will take place a few days later than this year, starting on April 30 and closing on May 8.
Both organisers and participants have hailed this year's boat show as one of the most successful, 3'000 more people visited the fair this year and the vast majority of the 150 exhibitors are happy with business generated during the nine day event.

This year, the boat show also provided the nautical industry with a much needed meeting to discuss and debate the problems facing the sector in the Balearics.

Despite being a major creator of jobs and wealth in the Balearics, the nautical industry continues to feel shunned by local authorities and repeated its call for more moorings and skilled tradesmen, both are in increasingly short supply in the Balearics and are restricting the industry's growth potential.

The nautical industry is worth over 300 million euros per year to the Balearics, but in the face of tough competition from new emerging nautical destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean and a lack of aid from the authorities, the Chamber of Commerce has warned that the industry could slip into decline unless it is allowed to expand and grow.

5'000 people work in the nautical industry which attracts some 200'000 visitors per year and accounts for over seven per cent of overall income from tourism.

Short term growth of 2.5 per cent per year is expected to continue, but experts warn that unless a long term strategy is mapped out for the Balearic nautical industry, in the mid-term, it will peak and then slip into decline.

Palma port authority is currently developing a 20-year-plan for the port.


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