The 58th Genoa International Boat Show opened today in what is generally considered a favourable global, European and Italian economic context. According to new figures from Italian boating industry association UCINA, which were presented to the press this afternoon, Italy’s leisure marine market experienced its third consecutive year of double-digit growth in 2017 with total turnover up by 12.8% to €3.88bn. Exports accounted for around 65.5% of sales and the remaining 34.5% came from the domestic market.
Total turnover was largely generated by new-boat construction, accounting for a 58% share of sales, followed by equipment at 28%, engines at 8%, and refit, repair and maintenance at 6%.
Of greater significance, however, are signs of a resurgent domestic market. While exports in 2017 accounted for 75.6% of national production (an amount equal to €2.44bn), production for the domestic market was up 15.4% last year to €788m.
Carla Demaria, UCINA president, described the figures as a “significant and consolidated recovery” – one that has seen an increase of 60% in just four years. This is largely on account of a positive economic context on a global, European and Italian scale, with obvious results on sales of pleasure craft.
“While exports remain stable at exceptional levels, the domestic market also continues to grow (+15.4%), thanks to an increase in consumer confidence levels, determined by the regulatory reforms promoted by UCINA Confindustria Nautica, and to the boosting of marine leasing, which in 2017 recorded as much as +58% of turnover from contracts signed,” said Demaria.
“The market’s positive performance, already evident in the flattering sales results of the main international boat shows, has now also affected production, with companies that have once again placed their trust in the favourable winds for the sector through strategic investments in the workforce: for the first time in many years, in fact, there has been a significant increase in direct employment, which now stands at almost 20,000 workers, with growth of 6%.
The contribution of the marine sector to Italy’s national GDP has also increased, rising from €2.8bn in 2016 to €3.2bn in 2017. The contribution as a percentage of GDP has therefore risen from 1.76% to 1.86%.
The latest industry statistics for 2017 can be found in ‘Nautica in Cifre’ (Boating in Figures), which is published yearly by UCINA and distributed to the press on the opening day of the Genoa show.