REGIONAL Commerce Minister, Francesca Vives, announced yesterday that Balearic Fairs and Congresses is going to subsidise half the costs of the Palma Boat Show taking place between 25th April and 3rd May.

A maximum of 6'000 euros per company will be given to cover expenses for mooring facilities, the extra cost of having a certain width of anchorage and exhibition stands.

According to Fairs and Congresses, a possible 120 companies could benefit from 300'000 euros worth of subsidies, although not all would be entitled to the maximum. Small to medium-sized Majorca-based businesses taking part in the Boat Show this year could amount to 65 percent of the total, but many are still undecided as to whether to take part.

President of the Association of Nautical Companies, Margarita Dahlberg, said yesterday that it was very important that the general public supported the event. She said that with the volume of activity in the sector - including sale, repair and maintenance - having declined by 50 percent, the outlook for the industry was “bleak”.