Coomera, Gold Coast, Australia: The Australian marine industry is singing the praises of the 4th annual Gold Coast International Marine Expo, reporting strong sales and even greater prospects in the lead-up to summer.
Expo Marketing & Event Manager Emma Milne says feedback from exhibitors was extremely positive, indicating the event had achieved its objectives of boosting the marine industry, raising money for charity and providing visitors with a timely and memorable opportunity to get everything they need to have fun on the water this summer.
“Based on exhibitor feedback, the total sales at the Expo alone would certainly be in the order of tens of millions of dollars,” she said.
“We are very happy with this year’s event and we are justifiably excited about its future – we are now in our fourth year and our massive showcase of all things aquatic keeps getting better and better.
“This year we had over 220 exhibitors which is up 10 per cent from last year, and over 60 new boat and product releases.
“Also this year we laid an orange line to guide people through the 3km display circuit and a lot of people were saying how helpful that is to make sure they don’t miss a thing.”
Ms Milne said the massive array of live entertainment and demonstrations every 15 minutes also proved popular across the 3km display circuit, including the McDonald’s Extreme High Diving Show and the Jetovator and Hoverboard demonstrations.
“This year we decide to introduce a ticket price to help raise funds for our chosen charities which provide an army of volunteers to make the event the success that it is.
“The fact is we could not hold the Expo without those volunteers so it’s great to be able to give back … and most of the people I spoke to understand. The Expo is still the most affordable boat show in Australia and also one of the largest … and I think our focus of family fun works a treat because the marine leisure industry is all about families and memories to treasure for a lifetime.”
Iconic Australian boat-builder Riviera confirmed the sale of two boats – a 5000 Sport Yacht to be delivered by Christmas and a 50 Enclosed Flybridge … and we also had several sea trials booked for the new 6000 Sport Yacht, which made her Queensland premiere at the Expo.
“We’ve already had seven forward orders for the 6000 Sport Yacht which made her world premiere only two months ago,” said Riviera’s Stephen Milne. “She makes her United States premiere at Fort Lauderdale and we are confident the 6000 will be just as popular there.
“The fact is that luxury yacht owners do a lot of research before they purchase so Expo is a great opportunity for us to showcase our range of beautiful yachts to genuine buyers, the general public and also the families of our passionate 430 master craftsmen and team members.”
Huge crowds gathered around the McDonald’s Extreme High Diving Show, which saw former world champion Steve Black perform his triple somersault from the dizzying height of 25 metres, and also each time the Jetovator and Hoverboard took to the water.
Bart Beek’s celebrity chef cooking demonstrations were also very popular at the Club Marine stand, while the gourmet food court was packed with people enjoying all the fine fare and live entertainment the event had to offer.
The Riviera Yacht Club Restaurant & Bar was well-patronised, while the Yamaha Super Tank fishing demonstrations drew crowds of avid anglers.
Demand was so strong for the Riviera factory tours that two mini-buses were hired to supplement The Riviera Express train ride, with a total of almost 1800 people taking the fully narrated tour of the largest luxury yacht-building facility in the Southern Hemisphere.
This fully narrated tour took in many sections of Riviera’s impressive 14-hectare, state-of-the-art facility where there were 28 boats under production, around half of which are bound for international owners.
“The factory tours were a great opportunity for Expo visitors to see behind the scenes of how we craft a Riviera, from the early lamination stage to engineering and final fit-out,” said Mr Milne.
“It was a prime opportunity for Riviera owners, boating enthusiasts and the families and friends of our 430-strong team to come and see the result of the commitment and passion that our craftspeople every day put into our premium luxury yachts,” he said.
“The master craftsmanship behind Riviera’s range of luxury pleasure yachts is renowned internationally … and for good reason: our built-to-last philosophy is reflected in a superior quality of build.”
The Riviera Express passengers also viewed construction of the largest production luxury pleasure boat built in Australia – the supremely seaworthy Riviera 75 Flybridge.
Hand-crafting of Riviera’s legendary fibreglass hulls, the installation of ultramodern engineering and electrical components, as well as the intricate detail that goes into the company’s timber varnishing system, were also included in the comprehensive train tour.
“Usually, only Riviera owners and purchasers are able to experience such an extensive tour so this was a great chance for us to share and showcase all the workmanship that goes into creating the Riviera Experience,” Mr Milne said.
Mr Milne said Riviera was proud to be a founding partner of the not-for-profit Gold Coast International Marine Expo – alongside Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard, Quintrex, International Paints and Clipper Motor Yachts – which has to date raised over $50,000 for charity. This year’s charities were Rotary Club of Coomera River, Sailability Gold Coast, Sea World Search and Rescue Foundation, and the Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service.
The tours of TAFE’s Gold Coast Marine Training Centre also at the home of Riviera at Coomera, also proved very popular throughout the Expo, with scores taking the opportunity to learn how TAFE is supporting the next generation of boat-builders.
Dates for the 2015 Gold Coast International Marine Expo will be announced shortly.To view the Gold Coast International Marine Expo website please click here
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