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Show's impact goes beyond boat sales

Show's impact goes beyond boat sales
Show's impact goes beyond boat sales

From Miami Herald

The Miami International Boat Show doesn't just bring a flotilla of flashy boats to South Florida. It also generates lots of money for the community and the state as a whole.

Last year boat, equipment and accessory sales reached more than $70 million, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, organizer of the Miami event.

Besides these sales, tens of thousands of visitors -- both locals and out-of-towners -- spend money on transportation, hotels, food and beverages, entertainment and shopping, along with taxes on their purchases.

Boat dealers and manufacturers, as well as other vendors, also spend to transport their wares and set up exhibits. The NMMA contracts about 1,300 temporary workers to assemble and take down the show, an elaborate process that starts in early January, with the installation of docks and reception of freight, and continues after exhibits are dismantled and boats leave the show.

For a clearer picture of the show's economic impact, NMMA hired Tampa-based Thomas J. Murray & Associates, specialists in marine business and coastal development, to conduct an analysis in conjunction with the University of Florida. The study, published after the 2005 show, said the Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail generated $817.8 million in gross sales, wages and taxes in Florida and supported 9,030 full-time jobs.

This year's show is smaller than 2009's and boat sales have fallen sharply during the recession, but NMMA still points to the 2005 study as an estimate of the show's economic clout. Not clear from the figures released by NMMA is how much of the total sales revenue stays in Florida and how much goes to companies in other states or countries.

In comparison, the 2010 Super Bowl will have an impact of about $153 million in South Florida, according to Pricewaterhouse-Coopers. Other estimates peg Super Bowl spending at $50 million to $100 million.

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