Response from many exhibitors is positive, despite a downturn in visitor numbers.

Initial impressions of the London Boat Show are positive, despite a downturn in visitor numbers.

Organisers National Boat Shows said estimates saw footfall significantly down early in the event, but increased numbers of paying punters over the week brought figures nearer their 2004 level.

Many exhibitors reported strong sales nonetheless.

At Ancasta International Boat Sales, Ashley Overton, sales director for new boat sales, said: “While overall attendance was a little down on last year the quality of customer was high and results exceeded our expectations in both Rodman and Bavaria Motor Boats.”

Steve Holmes, principal of the Coastal Sea School, which runs courses in Weymouth and Dubai, said: “We’re very happy and are booking again for next year. There might not have been as many heads through the door as last year, but the quality of inquiries has significantly increased.”

For the full story and in depth analysis, see the forthcoming March issue of MBY, on sale 2 February.