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Palma.—Obviously, there was some sadness, anger and disappointment when the decision was taken late on Wednesday night, but the organisers had little choice.

Only about a third of last year's exhibitors had signed up for this year's event and that would mean that the show would struggle to break even, so it was not financially feasible to go ahead with the trade fair.

It had already been decided that, had it gone ahead, this year's show would have been more compact than in previous years and run for a shorter period.
But, since February 8, when it became clear that there was not much appetite for the event amongst the nautical industry, organisers had been considering scrapping this year's fair completely.

In view of the current financial crisis, the Balearic government reduced the costs of staging the fair by 16 percent and the organising committee slashed participation rates for exhibitors by 30 percent, but that still was not enough to pull in the numbers to make the event cost effective.

The Director General for Commerce and Business, Cesar Nuño Pacheco, said at a press conference given yesterday morning that it was a “sad day. “But, we have to listen to the message from the nautical industry and postpone the fair.” However, for the most part, the nautical industry does not consider it a “ sad day” at all, in fact, many nautical businesses believe that this could be the blessing in disguise and an opportunity to reinvent the boat show next year, which will be its 30th anniversary.

Jonathan Syrett, the Palma-based director of Camper & Nicholsons Spain and Portugal was at Wednesday night's meeting.
Yesterday he said the decision is “good and bad. I know some people are sad and were all geared up for the fair with high expectations but I think the right decision was made. “Quite simply there were not enough exhibitors to make the event worth while. “But, personally, and I know many other people feel the same way, this will give us a chance to take stock of what the fair has done and how it has been staged over the past 29 years and adopt a new approach to next year's event. “We can now take a step backwards and have a good look at what we've been doing and why it went wrong. “We now have a clean sheet of paper and this will give us all an opportunity to get involved in designing and creating a new show which is more tailored to what the nautical industry really wants. “I know the government is heavily committed to getting it right for next year and wants the nautical industry to be more involved in organising the fair. “I've already heard some very exciting and interesting ideas and we also want to see the large yachting sector more involved as well as the repair and refit sectors which are the real driving forces behind the nautical industry here in Palma. “So, we can now work towards relaunching something very special for next year. “I envisage the fair becoming a mini-Monaco,” Syrett said.