Number of visitors to boat show up 2% over last year to 111,963

As the sun shone down on the last evening of the PSP Southampton Boat Show, organisers were left to celebrate a increase in attendance over last year, bucking a trend seen at most other major European shows.

Over the ten days of the event, 111,963 visitors came through the gates, up 2% on last year’s figure, despite some changeable autumn weather that saw a number of torrential downpours over the course of the show.

More than 120 boats made their debuts at Southampton, with the number of exhibitors totalling more than 600, representing 22 countries around the word.

Murray Ellis, MD of show organiser National Boat Shows, said: “This year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show has been another world-class event. Visitors have enjoyed their day out with us and a good number have taken the opportunity to try different types of boating and watersports.

“Seeing marine businesses making sales here confirms this show as a strong selling platform; people visit our Southampton show to buy boats and this has been very evident this year.”

This is reflected in exhibitor comments from the show. Ashley Overton, sales director of boat dealer Ancasta, said: “Not only is there a feel-good factor, but after several years people are putting hands in their pockets and spending money. Sales have been good; we’re up on last year, on both power and sail boats.”

Ian Braham, head of finance house Lombard, meanwhile, said marine finance enquiries at the show were up 10% compared to last year, and that business in the first six months of the year was up a significant 26% over the first half of 2012.

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