Employment, trade and industry minister, Iago Negueruela, at the presentation for the Palma International Boat Show.

The Balearics minister for employment, trade and industry, Iago Negueruela, presented the Palma International Boat Show at midday yesterday. The show will open its doors on Friday, 27 April at the Moll Vell.

Thanks to an increase in area - a total of 81,400 square metres of exhibition space - Negueruela highlighted the corresponding increase in the number of boats in the water, of which there will be 300 this year, 48% more than last year. Negueruela assured the press that ''due to the high demand from companies wanting to take part in the event, one of the leading yachting shows in Europe, we have tried to increase the exhibition area as much as possible, especially the sea-based exhibition space". The event will also feature 250 direct exhibitors who will be showcasing all the new developments in the sector.

One of the main objectives behind increasing the show's surface area, apart from responding to demand, is to ensure the show's survival and increase its quality - it is after all one of the most prominent events of its kind in the Mediterranean. The increased exhibition space means that the number of boats on the water can also increase in order to feature a higher number of large sailing yachts, those over 50 metres.

The fair complex's new design means that some areas of the exhibition are being remodelled in order to optimise the Moll Vell setting even further. In fact, this year the fair will feature a floating bridge connecting Consigna Jetty with Industria Pesquera dock so that visitors can take advantage of a circular route around the space thereby avoiding any dead areas. This temporary infrastructure will be 72 metres long and five metres wide and will allow boats to come in and out of the area once each day of the fair has come to a close. Apart from making it easier to visit the entire exhibition, the floating gangway will also be another attraction in itself as well as offer a different perspective of the boat show and port.

Negueruela thanked the Sant Pere fishermen's guild for their collaboration and all the companies who have to move or change their activities for the duration of the show.

Thanks to the exhibition space's new design, this year's fair has achieved a very clear subdivision: on the one hand the large selection of new boats exhibited directly by their shipyards or official distributors and on the other, the superyacht brokerage area with a significant area devoted to repair and maintenance (refit and repair) of these yachts. All of the above make the Palma Boat Show a very competitive event as it combines both sectors.

Worthy of note is the Palma Superyacht Show exhibition area which once again offers the largest exhibition of superyachts in Europe - with 80 yachts of over 24 metres long. This area will, for the second time, feature the Refit & Repair area. This section of the fair is separated from the rest of the show as it is specifically aimed at yachting experts and professionals. It was very well received by exhibitors and visitors during its debut in 2017. The Refit & Repair area will feature 25% more stands this year and will be more integrated within the rest of the fair than it was last year.