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FLIBS19: Show’s economic impact jumps 50 percent


The 60th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, held Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2019, generated $1.3 billion in economic impact in the state of Florida, more than 50% more than the last time it was studied in 2015.

“The importance of FLIBS to the local and statewide economy cannot be overstated,” said Phil Purcell, CEO/president of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which owns the show. “Not only does the show have a bigger economic impact than any Superbowl, FLIBS sustains the $12 billion South Florida marine industry and its 142,000 jobs for the remaining 360 days of the year, solidifying the region’s reputation as not just the yachting capital of the world, but the refit and repair capital of the world, as well.”

Another increase was shown in total sales, which were $715.4 million for the 2019 show, up 40% from $508 million in the 2015 study. Divided over the five-day show, that averages more than $143 million in direct sales per day.

“FLIBS is the largest in-water boat show in the world and has been an economic powerhouse for many years,” said Andrew Doole, president of Informa Markets U.S. Boats Shows, producers of the show. “The notable increases in its economic impact are a testament to its significance to the marine industry, the local and state economy, and further solidifies its rank among leading boat shows around the world. The increase in sales demonstrates that quality buyers are attending and that the show’s growth and improvements continue to be well-received. 

“We are looking forward to the 2020 show and to continue contributing as a major statewide economic driver,” he said. “There is a lot of pent-up demand to get back to life on the water and to spend quality time with family and friends in the great outdoors. FLIBS spans nearly 90 acres across seven waterfront locations and we are excited to bring the marine community and boating enthusiasts back together.”

An executive summary of the report can be found here.

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