2nd Mumbai International Boat Show gets underway

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Mumbai, Feb 29 (UNI) As many as 80 companies from the world of leisure and adventure boating industry are showcasing their products in the second Samira Mumbai International Boat Show being held at the MMRDA Grounds and Gateway of India here.

The exhibition, which was inaugurated by Vice Admiral J S Bedi at the MMRDA Grounds yesterday, displayed 140 brands and 20 luxury boats docked at the Gateway Marina and smaller speed boats, jet skiis and dinghies displayed in the stalls at MMRDA for the 20,000 visitors expected to visit the event.

''We have all kinds of boats on display, from the smallest of sailboats, to the Seafarer, upto the luxury Ferretti yachts and beyond. Consumers who can afford the boats are also increasing as a reverse brain drain is happening with well heeled Indians coming back,'' said Mr Brijesh Lohana, the Director of Samira Marine Infrastructers who are organising the event.

''Last year's boat show generated business of over Rs 200 crore. This year we expect to cross that figure.'' The country's nascent leisure boating industry is worth only Rs 150 crore but may touch one billion US dollars in five years,'' Mr Lohana said.

''Yes, the boating industry is still small compared to developed markets like the UK which is worth UK Pounds three billion a year, but we expect it to grow fast over the next few years. Thats why we are here,'' said Mr Amanda Simpson, International Development Executive, British Marine Federation, who is representing 150 British firms.

On a practical note, MD of Mumbai-based West Coast Marine Aashim Mongia said the government would need to get more involved in the industry and promote it.

''Unlike popular perception, the leisure boating industry is not just for the rich. It has a potential to generate income and employment for everyone at every level,'' he added.

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