The Venice Boat Show closes with over 30 thousand visitors: exhibitors very satisfied

A singular and dreamlike experience ended the second edition of the Venice Boat Show. Full satisfaction from the exhibitors and the over 30 thousand visitors. Venice has solidified itself as the eastern gateway for pleasure boating

9 June 2021 | by Redazione
Salone Nautico di Venezia 2021

A positive outcome for the Venice Boat Show. On Sunday 6 June the second edition closed; in 9 days of events it saw over 30 thousand visitors, satisfying organisers and exhibitors. The next edition is already being worked on, from Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June 2022.

The edition that just finished was still conditioned by Covid restrictions, opening with the promises of the mayor of Venice,  Luigi Brugnaro: “I would like that the Boat Show – said the mayor – be, together with the Biennial for Architecture, a sign of the recovery not only of Venice, but of all of Italy.

Promise kept. Under a summer sun, with excellent weather, the 160 exhibitors said they were very satisfied with the amount of visitors and the event’s organisation. Those participating for the first time said they were amazed at how their participation was so valuable in such a warm and “marine” atmosphere.

As announced in the opening ceremony, the Venice Boat Show opened the door not only to the market, but also to culture and sustainability, which was the common thread throughout the over 30 conferences held, exploring every aspect of sailing and building vessels; from design to engines and the environment. Venice therefore, also at the Show, reclaimed its central role in the current debate on the oceans and sustainability.


Naval art has truly returned home – noted the mayor, Luigi Brugnaro – and the statistics for this second edition of the Boat Show have demonstrated how forward thinking and correct the idea we had back in 2018 was to give Venice another opportunity to shine with boating excellence. The city is once again the queen of the seas in the most open cultural sense possible. We have demonstrated our skills in design, architecture, construction and in traditional activities.”

In these days – highlighted the mayor – Venice has remarried with the sea and did this by bringing its many skills as dowry. We are looking forward to next year’s edition. From Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June 2022 at the Arsenale, the Boat Show will return even more abundant and innovative.”

Thank you – concluded Brugnaro – to everyone who worked together on the excellent organisation of this edition. Thank you to all the exhibitors who chose to be here notwithstanding this difficult period, and thank you to the many visitors who came to the event. All together we have demonstrated how beautiful boating is and how fascinating it is to fall in love with the water.”

The arrival of the Raid Pavia-Venezia at the Boat Show


It was supposed to be the edition for recovery, and that is what it was. The Arsenal Militare demonstrated itself to be a singular environment, the beating heart of the marine tradition of the Serenissima, with a water surface area of 50 thousand square metres, over 100 linear metres of piers creating approximately 30 thousand m2 of exterior exhibition space, and covered pavilions for around 5000 m2 overall.

The Venice Boat Show was the first event of this size in Italy, “in person”. It was all done following guidelines required by this difficult pandemic and with a number of restrictions, but always in complete safety thanks to a formula allowing group entrances through the use of time slots. The Show has confirmed the “boat” as an intimate space, to enjoy with the family or with friends: these were the reasons for purchase in a market that is coming out of the pandemic stronger than ever.


A boat show – said Giovanna Vitelli, vice president of the Azimut-Benetti Group, participating for the first time in the event – that, because of the attraction of its location, the efficient organisation and positive influx of visitors, certainly needs repeating. We will be back next year.”

In the second edition – declared Alberto Galassi, CEO for Ferretti Groupthe Show has shown its many talents, together with the great attractions and sales. A good influx of visitors, excellent considering the times, there were many visitors from Italy and from abroad like Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia and Poland, proof of the attraction of an event that has proven to be the most anticipated event for the Eastern Mediterranean.”

All of these boat owners and their captains – noted the CEO for the Ferretti Group – were impressed not only by the obvious beauty of the city, but also by the opportunities made available to them, from hospitality to culture, art and restaurants. I would say that for the Boat Show and for Venice, this is just the beginning.” Mr Galassi is one of the promoters of the Venice Boat Show, so much so that he brought the flagship of the event to the lagoon, the Ferretti 1000. He explained to us the reasons why he became one of the “founders” of this event in this interview with Liguria Nautica.

Also satisfied was Luigi Gambelli, CEO for Timone Group, one of the most important companies along the Adriatic coast, which presented their new business organisation at the Venice Show. “For me – declared Luigi Gambelli – this was an exceptional event and I am certain it will continue to grow. I’m an advocate for this show because it is a gateway on the Adriatic for eastern Europe, with visitors coming to the Boat Show for a number of reasons: both to see the yachts and to see Venice.

Many visitors at the stands


The Arsenale was also the stage to candidate Venice for the role of world capital of sustainability: from the protection of the seas, oceans and water in general as a primary resource for our planet, to new technology for hybridising vessels through to collecting plastics from the oceans.

Environmental sustainability was the common thread throughout the entire second edition of the Venice Boat Show, which, over 9 days saw a number of international experts discussing the topics of protecting our waters from the threats that have been consistently increasing over the past few years, with the aim of creating concrete solutions to develop effective mechanisms to preserve and protect the most sensitive marine areas and coasts, in addition to the need to create a new marine culture. There were over thirty in depth events and an equal number open to the public, in addition to a dozen other events in the city.

I would like to thank the exhibitors for having believed in this project – said Alberto Bozzo, sales manager for the Show – based on their feedback we are immediately preparing for the 2022 edition.

I would like to thank the staff – added Fabrizio D’Oria, operations manager for the Show – all the exhibitors, suppliers, all the people who worked hard to make the Show an in person event and safe for all those working and visiting. The Show has also been a driving force for the local economy, it created jobs for over 1,200 people, between general organisation, hosting, safety, security, cleaning services, dockers and the O-Group which guaranteed food and drink.


Even Liguria Nautica participated in the Venice Boat Show. A young event, in its second edition, restarting in Covid times after having stopped last year.

Among the strong points of the Show is certainly the location: not only Venice, a city where the flow of tourism, even foreign tourism, is slowly opening up again, but also the Arsenale Militare, which, for 9 days opened its doors to the world, showcasing places otherwise inaccessible, bringing visitors in close contact with daily life of some of the most important departments in the Italian Navy.

Easy to reach by train, thanks to the high speed rail service, Venice was also easy to navigate in the city. In addition to being able to walk to the Arsenale, for those staying in the city, there was the local vaporetto service, as well as an additional direct ferry that was added, which left every 20 minutes from Piazzale Roma (access to the city for those arriving by car) to the Arsenale, in just under half an hour of sailing, including beautiful breathtaking views in front of Palazzo San Marco. There were a few queues on the pier for the vaporetto near the end of the day, seeing as service was still reduced due to Covid.

The interest shown by residents of the city was also plenty. We were often stopped by the locals who, noticing the passes for the Boat Show, asked us for information on the event, on what there was to see and how they could participate.


Giuseppe Orrù

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