The official opening of the boat show. President Armengol with ministers Negueruela (left) and Pons (right). | Pere Bota

One yacht broker said that, considering that not so many years ago the Palma Boat Show was cancelled due to a lack of interest and government funding, it now has the largest collection of sailing yachts over 80 metres of any nautical show in the Mediterranean.

Today, despite the weather, the boat show was bustling with members of the public and potential buyers who had flown into Palma from all over Europe.

The show was officially opened by President Armengol, accompanied by the minister for employment, trade and industry, Iago Negueruela, and the minister for transport, Marc Pons. The president said: "We are a community surrounded by the sea and our lifeline is tourism." She stressed the importance of the nautical industry because of the economic benefits it brings to the region and the large number of jobs it creates, both directly and indirectly. She also underlined the fact that it is a sector which is constantly breaking barriers of new technology and innovation.

The president and ministers said that the government wishes to offer the nautical industry all its support precisely because of these benefits. Negueruela added that it also offers excellent training opportunities for young people. He said that there are currently 14 courses which will benefit 1,600 people.