Wales’ only boat show to extend appeal

The All Wales Boat Show made its debut in 2013 and featured a line-up of £4 million of boats at two marinas, Conwy and Deganwy, in North Wales.

Following feedback from exhibitors and customers, organisers have decided to further expand the event’s appeal by adding a used boat zone, a boat jumble,  a seafood feast, and land-based coastal activities, as well as entertainment, chandlery and watersports.

The three days will focus on Conwy Quay Marina from May 30 to June 1, the second weekend of the 2014 Spring Bank Holiday week.

Sbarc founder and Managing Director Davina Carey-Evans said she wanted Welsh coastal communities to benefit from the show, as well as broadening the event’s appeal to visitors and exhibitors.

She said: “As we move out of recession and the British population matures, the appeal of the coastal lifestyle is set to grow. The event will show why the Welsh coast is one of the world’s best, demonstrate what it can offer, and prove that a coastal lifestyle can be fun and affordable to many.

“We want exhibitors that span the coastal spectrum, from conservation groups to walking holidays, property rentals and sellers, boat sellers and chandlery. It will be the first time all these coast-related business and organisations come together, and I believe the result will be really exciting and profitable for all involved.”

The value of the marine leisure industry in Wales is put at £200m annually, but the total value of general coastal tourism is much higher. In terms of overnight stays, 41% of the 9.6 million trips made to Wales by British visitors in 2012 were to the coast, or coast related. This is double the rate in England, and three times that of Scotland.