The Palma Boat Show opens at the end of this month. | P. Bota

Evidence of the economic importance of the Balearic nautical industry is demonstrated by the fact that this year's Palma Boat Show will have more than 70 businesses taking part and that demand for participating in the thirty-third show is the highest that it has ever been: indeed, the show was booked out by March.

Organised by the ministry of employment, trade and industry with private sector cooperation, the show will be larger than last year, with some 500 metres more and up to 5,500 square metres that will house an exhibition of 600 boats - 30% more than in 2015. The number of berths has also been increased, so more than 170 boats will be present. Among them will be some of the largest yachts in the world, such as "Eleonora" and "Native" at some 50 metres in length. In total there will be more than 3,500 national and international brands from some 20 countries.

The show's director, Chema Sans, says that this year's show has great prospects for business, noting that last year some 400 million euros of turnover were generated by the industry and around 2,500 people were employed. Because of the good forecasts, the Majorca Chamber of Commerce has organised a gathering to promote business meetings.

The minister, Iago Negueruela, did not venture to give exact numbers but pointed out that at the end of last year's show almost 90% of exhibitors took up reservations for this year. This illustrates, therefore, the importance of the fair, while he pointed also to the significant levels of direct business the event creates for tourist services, retail and leisure.

* The boat show takes place from 28 April to 2 May.