by Jeni Bone
Socialite and reality TV star, Tamara Ecclestone opened the 2012 Tullett Prebon London Boat Show at The Excel, going barefoot to pose on the teak deck of a superyacht.
Copyright onEdition 2012©
Tamara said: 'I’m thrilled to have been involved in this fantastic event. I have fond memories of being taken out on yachts from an early age and so I’ve always loved being out on the water. I really enjoyed seeing all the action live at the show as well as being given a tour of all the new boats that were launched this year – I’d definitely recommend it as being a fun day out for all.'
London's International Boat Show, one of the biggest in Europe, is looking to tap into other high-end markets to attract new customers during a recession that has priced out mid-range sailors.
'It's like any industry -- it's looking to diversify,' said Michael Enser, head of marketing at the British Marine Federation, which represents businesses from makers of canoes to super yachts.
'It is bringing in high-net worths, and they are reasonably insulated from the economy. If we invite those people into the show who have not been exposed to boats in the past it is a new audience for manufacturers to engage in, to sell their products, and eventually a new boater.'
Numbers of people passing through the turnstiles at London's Boat Show have not recovered from pre-GFC levels, while exhibitor numbers are down by about 10 percent.
Tamara adds pizzaz to the 2012 event
Among the biggest absentees are French boat builder Beneteau along with Dufour and Elan.
'It's still a very sizeable show,' said Murray Ellis, managing director of National Boat Shows. 'It is not a reflection of the show, that is purely a reflection of the UK economy and the UK marine market.'
Taking space in 2012 are luxury cars, watches, a contemporary fine art gallery, jewellry and a home cinema. A rare diamonds investment company has also slotted in alongside the champagne bars.
More at www.londonboatshow.com