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boot Düsseldorf and European Boating Industry announce that the sixth edition of the annual International Breakfast Meeting will move to a digital format. On 20 April, high-level panellists from business and politics will discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the recreational boating industry, how the industry can recover and new trends and opportunities.

Every year, the International Breakfast Meeting (IBM) held at boot Düsseldorf offers trade visitors, industry, and journalists the opportunity to exchange information on the latest market trends, regulations, and innovation, as well as to develop new contacts and networks.

This year, the co-organisers of the annual International Breakfast Meeting, boot Düsseldorf and European Boating Industry (EBI) took the decision to move to a digital format despite the cancellation of the trade show. The aim is to continue to provide market intelligence and connect business and politics at a crucial time for the industry. The sixth edition of the IBM will be under the theme of “A Corona reboot of tourism and recreation – What future for boating?”. It will take place on 20 April from 10:00 – 12:00 (CEST).

At the centre of the 2021 IBM will be the presentation of an EBI study on the impact of COVID-19 on the industry and outlook of the industry, which presents new industry data based on a survey of companies. Presentations on new trends in travel and tourism will follow alongside a discussion of the future EU tourism strategy and how to build momentum for boating in 2021 and beyond.

Confirmed as speakers are Petros Michelidakis (Project Director boot Düsseldorf), Amelie Cesar and Natascha Zwenke (Study leaders, Jade University Wilhelmshaven), Lyublena Dimova (Research Manager, European Travel Commission), Ismail Ertug (Member of the European Parliament) and Gianguido Girotti (Deputy CEO Brand & Product Strategy, Groupe Beneteau).

Announcing the 2021 IBM, Petros Michelidakis said: “The International Breakfast Meeting is the leading forum to discuss the industry’s most pressing issues. While boot Düsseldorf 2021 has had to be cancelled, we are delighted to host experts and policy-makers for a highly relevant exchange in a digital format. It promises to be insightful as we look back at 2020 and take a glance into the future for the boating and water sports industry. We look forward to welcoming the industry back to boot Düsseldorf 2022 with an IBM taking place in-person.”

Philip Easthill (Secretary-General, EBI) commented: “We are delighted to again co-organise IBM with our partner boot Düsseldorf, who we thank for their support to industry in these difficult times. We are witnessing the rapid development of new consumer trends. IBM will be an anchor point to look at these trends and opportunities that will define 2021 and beyond, as well as the EU’s future approach to tourism and the blue economy.

Published in Boot Düsseldorf

The Irish Marine Trade has been giving its reaction to today's cancellation of the giant German Boat Show, Boot Dusseldorf that was scheduled for April and a key show for the Irish industry.

As Afloat reported earlier, the world’s largest indoor boat show fell due to the ongoing high infection numbers across all of Europe. 

Boot had been steadily attracting more and more Irish visitors after the collapse of the London Boat Show and the availability of direct flights between Dublin and Dusseldorf.

But while key members of the Irish trade are 'disappointed' at the loss of the European industry showcase event, the view is that it was not unexpected and many new models can be viewed at home this Spring subject to guidelines. 

Typically, Ireland was represented on many of the major marques at Boot across the 17 halls and in both sail and power brands. 

"At a time when the Covid19 pandemic is running rife through European countries, and the necessarily strict public health protocols that are in place for the foreseeable future, the priority is rightly to the health of exhibitors, visitors and service providers, Irish Marine Federation Chairman Paal Janson told Afloat.

IMF Chairman Paal Janson at Dun Laoghaire MarinaIMF Chairman Paal Janson at Dun Laoghaire Marina

"It is also a cruel blow to the many Irish leisure marine businesses who rely on the very significant trade that is done at this annual show. Irish consumers too will undoubtedly miss the opportunity to visit the biggest indoor boat and marine leisure show in the world" Janson said.

Manufacturers and retailers have adapted remarkably well and the online content for boats and equipment has improved vastly.

Janson says dealers are also offering bespoke video tours of their stock boats to prospective customers. "Irish Marine Federation members are already seeing a pick up in interest from the public and see 2021 as being another busy year with people enjoying family time afloat in their local marinas and harbours, as they did in 2020".

While safe foreign travel is still an unknown undertaking, boating remains a safe and responsible leisure activity enjoyed by people of all ages, the IMF chair told Afloat.

Leading Irish dealer Gerry Salmon of MGM Boats also told Afloat today's decision was not unexpected.

MGM Boats John O'Kane (left) from Belfast Lough with Martin (centre) and Gerry Salmon of MGM Boats in Dublin on board at a previous boot Dusseldorf Prestige stand with the new 70-foot Prestige 680sMGM Boats John O'Kane (left) from Belfast Lough with Martin (centre) and Gerry Salmon of MGM Boats in Dublin on board at a previous boot Dusseldorf Prestige stand 

The Dun Laoghaire firm took an annual brokerage stand in Dusseldorf but they have already hatched alternative arrangements. "We will be hosting several showcase events featuring our new models for this coming season when guidelines permit, and our boatyard here in Dun Laoghaire along with Dun Laoghaire marina is the perfect setting for some new model debuts from Jeanneau, Lagoon and Zodiac," Salmon says. "We will announce the dates as the restrictions are lifted closer to the time and look forward to getting our clients on the water this season," he said.

James Kirwan of BJ Marine in Greystones Harbour County Wicklow predicts that "2021 will be another year where boating is one of the safest things you can do, and the market reflects that"

James Kirwan of BJ MarineJames Kirwan of BJ Marine

Responding to the news of Boot's April cancellation, the Irish Beneteau agent says "While disappointing for the industry it is not unexpected, and it is the right thing to do. Our planning for 2021 started last Spring, ordering new models to ensure we had a supply of the most popular boats, power and sail, for our clients for this season" 

Kirwan adds "Many of the boats that people would have travelled to the show to see, we can show in Ireland. We will showcase these as best we can within the guidelines as they evolve".

German organisers said today that in 2022, boot Düsseldorf will return to the "known concept" and will accompany watersports enthusiasts into a new season. 

Published in Marine Trade

Germany's Boot Dusseldorf that originally postponed from January to April due to COVID-19 has now been called off for 2021.

The world’s largest indoor boat show fell due to the ongoing high infection numbers across all of Europe. 

The massive show had been steadily attracting more and more Irish visitors after the collapse of the London Boat Show and the direct flights between Dublin and Dusseldorf.

Messe Düsseldorf decided today to cancel due to the ongoing pandemic and the associated worldwide lockdown measures.

The next boot, as scheduled in the trade fair calendar, will open its doors from 22 to 30 January 2022.

Under the given circumstances, an implementation on the planned date in April is no longer guaranteed, says Wolfram N. Diener, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf: "The continuing high level of infection and the fact that the end of the lockdown is not foreseeable for the time being make a resumption of trade fair operations at the end of April appear increasingly unrealistic. We have reassessed the situation with our partners and jointly decided to cancel boot 2021 early. Our priority is the health and planning security of our exhibitors, visitors and service providers. All activities will now be focused on the successful staging of boot 2022."

The aim, he said, is to return to the concept of boot Düsseldorf both as an event for all water sports enthusiasts and as a business and networking platform for the international trade audience. For 2022, he added, work is also underway on a hybrid trade fair experience that will, among other things, enable digital participation in seminars and events at boot Düsseldorf.

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boot Düsseldorf 2021 will be held from 17th to 25th April. The original dates from 23 to 31 January could not be used due to the ongoing high infection numbers across all of Europe. Messe Düsseldorf has postponed boot after close consultation with its partners and exhibitors who endorse this decision and have opted in favour of the new dates.

The news comes after mounting speculation the giant German show would move as Afloat reported here.

Announcing the new dates early on Messe Düsseldorf also gives exhibitors planning security for preparing their trade fair participation and transporting their boats and yachts.

Messe Düsseldorf’s CEO Wolfram Diener is convinced that the new dates for boot Düsseldorf send out a positive signal to the water sports industry: “At the present moment in time, we cannot reliably gauge whether a trade fair can be implemented in January 2021. This is due to current infection rates, ongoing travel restrictions and existing legal provisions which do not permit trade fairs to be held currently. In consultation with our boot advisory board and the associations we have selected the new dates in April with caution. Statements from numerous experts have led us to believe that it is highly probable the situation will calm down in almost all European countries by spring 2021 on account of the measures currently in place. With CARAVAN SALON in September 2020 we have already demonstrated that trade fairs can also be held successfully in Corona times while offering all parties involved the greatest possible protection.”

Furthermore, explaining the decision Wolfram Diener says: “The exhibitors can focus on the new dates now and continue their preparations. We will concentrate from now on to prepare the best possible and successful platform for the boating and water sports business.” boot Project Director Petros Michelidakis adds: “After many talks with exhibitors, associations and partners we have chosen very carefully the new dates although we know that it is difficult to fulfill everybody´s wish. Moving boot to April will also accommodate the purchasing and booking behaviour of many water sports enthusiasts. Long-term organisation of holidays and leisure activities will not be possible in the coming months and we believe that boot Düsseldorf held in April will be welcomed for the planning of the boating and water sports activities for the rest of the year.” With this move boot follows the wish of the industry for the necessity to postpone boot Düsseldorf and to present in spring 2021 an information and order platform for water sports enthusiasts and the business community.

Representing the exhibiting industry boot President Robert Marx praised Messe Düsseldorf’s decision: “We as the industry very much support postponing boot to April. After the extension to lockdown provisions this is an important measure to ensure we can hold boot Düsseldorf as a commercial success. As President of this trade fair and representative of the German water sports industry I welcome the move allowing us to now plan for these dates and that with boot 2021 we will be holding the first boot show in Europe for more than half a year.”

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The organisers of the giant German boat show boot Dusseldorf are aware that rumours have been circulating that the January show has been postponed until later in the year.

Messe Dusseldorf said they wished to make it clear that any supposition about a new date is purely speculation and it should not be taken as a confirmed fact and that an official announcement will be forthcoming on Thursday.

Increasing numbers of Irish visitors have been attending, including Irish marine trade, since the collapse of the London Show.

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
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In a conference tempered by caution – and support for lockdown measures taking place in Germany and further afield – the organising team of boot Düsseldorf has stated that time is the key factor to whether the show will go ahead in January, with an announcement due early December.

Stating strong intentions and a list of booked exhibitors across many of the halls, Petros Michelidakis, boot project director, majored on safety and hygiene being the conduits for a successful show.

“Everything is set, we are still on course,” he says.

“Even with mouth and nose protection, we [visitors] will feel the same passion for watersports".

“Safety has always been a top priority at Düsseldorf and we are implementing a new strategy. We will engage additional 600 people to fight against anything that could risk safety and health – Protective Guides – who are determined to ensure hygiene and protection measures are observed.

“Safety is our most important goal.”

Michelidakis noted that this has been the most challenging period for watersports in the past decade, but welcomed the lockdown situation which allows time for a decrease in infection levels.

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
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The German Federal Government has decided that trade fair participants are generally considered business travellers with good cause to enter Germany. In addition, the current corona entry regulation of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (CoronaEinrVO) applies.

When entering Germany, trade fair exhibitors must submit a confirmation of participation from the trade fair organiser as proof. boot exhibitors have received an admission document which they can download from the Online Order System (OOS).

Visitors to the trade fair must present their admission ticket to boot and also an appointment for a business meeting with at least one exhibitor. This regulation applies with immediate effect and without exception to all trade fair participants from countries that are currently not included in the German positive list or are included under conditions on the German positive list. Further information on this subject can be found in the FAQ of the Federal Ministry of the Interior under the question "Which skilled and highly qualified foreign workers are permitted to enter Germany from a non-European foreign country?":

According to the current status of the CoronaEinrVO of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia dated October 7, 2020, people entering Germany from risk areas must present a negative corona test, which was carried out no more than 48 hours before entering the Federal Republic of Germany. Decisive for the beginning of the 48-hour period is the time at which the test result is determined. The test result or the medical certificate must be kept for at least 14 days after entry. Please note that due to the dynamic development the situation may change at any time.

"boot Düsseldorf 2021 is very well positioned. The manufacturers of boats and yachts have almost uniformly announced their participation. Halls 1 to 6, 9 and 10 as well as 15 to 17 are already very well booked at this stage. We will have all the major global players in the sailing and motor yacht sector as well as the superboat and luxury yacht area on board again. The European shipyards are convinced of the great necessity of boat shows and have told us in many conversations that the boatbuilding industry would not survive without boat shows. They are the elixir of life of the entire water sports community", explains boot director Petros Michelidakis.

In addition to the boat suppliers, the manufacturers of engines - combustion and electric drives (Halls 9 and 10) - will be fully represented. Surf sports hall 8a will once again show itself as a highly professional trendsetter in the sector. Behind the colourful and cool presentation is a hard work, inventive talent and innovative technology. Among other things, the latest developments in the in-sports "Wing Surfing" will be on display here. "And we are delighted to have a very special highlight ready for the large diving community. 42 years ago, the first diving tower stood on boot Düsseldorf. In 2021, it will be replaced by a new, high tower that can be seen from all sides. The dives will be visualised even better and visitors will have a great view of the athletes. We have already planned many exciting demonstrations there", says Michelidakis with a view to the diving enthusiasts and adds: "Even if the travel industry suffers from the effects of the crisis, we will be able to present a varied and attractive range of offers in 2021". In addition, leading international charter operators and houseboat hirers are again on board, as these safe forms of holiday are currently in great demand.

Translated with (free version)Also ready to start is the extensive program of participation in the popular water sports: surfing on the "WAVE", SUPen on the Flatwater pool, sailing in the Sailing Center, paddling on the canoeing track, sport fishing on the fishing pond or diving in the new diving tower. Water sports enthusiasts come at their expense on boot in the bleak Central European January. The diverse stage programs with expert tips are worthwhile for both beginners and experienced skippers.

Messe Düsseldorf is also relying on its proven "PROTaction" safety system at boot Düsseldorf. The campaign for the implementation of the hygiene and infection protection rules has already proven at this year's CARAVAN SALON DÜSSELDORF that trade fairs for mobile leisure time can be successfully held under the special conditions

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
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The organiser of the world's largest indoor boat show says the successful staging of this month's CARAVAN SALON 2020 at the same venue has demonstrated the success of Düsseldorf trade fairs with September's exhibitors reporting amazing results. 

Wolfram Diener, CEO of “boot Düsseldorf,  says it means the the show is on course for a year of watersports success.” “boot Düsseldorf is well aware of its responsibility to the industry as the world’s biggest platform for watersports. boot, held from 23 to 31 of January 2021, sets the course for a year of success and a positive future. We are sure that we can come out on top if we work together and are delighted to be able to offer you this location in Düsseldorf for this. We have organised a boot that looks a little different, but is no less exciting, across 17 trade fair halls and in accordance with the valid hygiene and infection protection regulations. CARAVAN SALON 2020, which has just drawn to a close, paved the way for this. CARAVAN SALON proved beyond a doubt that trade fairs in Düsseldorf are successful and that exhibitors can produce impressive economic results, even under the new rules. We’re delighted by this outcome, as it has demonstrated that trade fairs continue to be an essential marketing tool for both the caravanning industry and the watersports sector, even in today’s climate.” This is how Wolfram Diener, CEO Messe Düsseldorf, describes the situation in the regional capital of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Registration levels in total equal to those of 2019

The planning for boot 2021 is on course and the current registration numbers are, overall, the same as they were in 2019. Almost all of the boat and yacht manufacturers that were on board in 2020 are back for 2021. Apart from a few exceptions, most suppliers have also confirmed that they will be participating in boot. Petros Michelidakis, Project Director for boot: “All in all, booking numbers for boot are excellent and we have even got halls in which almost every square metre has been booked up, such as the luxury yacht halls 5 and 6. Industries that have been hit hard by the crisis, such as the tourism industry, haven’t yet returned to their previous levels. However, we are discussing matters actively with these regions and travel agents in order to make participating in the trade fair possible for them.” The boot team has received a good level of registrations for providers of houseboat holidays as well as in the charter sector for sailing and motor boats. Both of these types of holiday are very safe and are enjoying growth in their popularity.

A hygiene and infection protection plan in Düsseldorf that has been cleared with the authorities

Messe Düsseldorf had already developed for CARAVAN SALON a comprehensive hygiene and protection concept in close cooperation with the authorities and in coordination with the state government. This is constantly adapted to meet the latest demands. “The visitors to the CARAVAN SALON approved of these measures highly. They felt safe with us, knew that they were in good hands and could enjoy visiting the vehicles in a relaxed atmosphere,” explains Wolfram Diener. The PROTaction campaign by Messe Düsseldorf provides clear and detailed information for the exhibitors at

Stage programme and participatory activities will take place

“The most important thing for us all is that, at the moment: boot Düsseldorf 2021 will take place from 23 to 31 January.” Exhibitors, employees, stand builders, visitors and media representatives can currently find responses to queries on the hygiene measures on the boot website. All those who are on the premises of the trade fair centre during the set-up, run and wind-up of the trade fair will be registered. The popular stage programmes and participatory activities such as surfing, diving, SUP and canoeing will take place, under compliance with the hygiene and distancing regulations. Scanners will log the data on the online tickets to track any potential infection chains.

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
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“Many of the hotspots of the water sports community in Europe are coming to life again”, boot Director Petros Michelidakis is delighted to report. He is Greek by birth and a keen sailor – and will soon be paying another visit to his home country too. Before this, however, he has also been able to enjoy water sports at their best around Düsseldorf, where he has chosen to live for many years now. “After surfing, sailing, diving or SUP became possible again here, I have visited a number of the destinations in the region in recent weeks and have been really impressed by the tremendous commitment displayed by the athletes as they have taken to the water again”, he adds.

In the coming year, boot will once again be the international business platform for motor and sailing yachts, recreational surfing and diving – under the new campaign motto “reboot your business”. At the visual level, the blue boot logo will be bracketed by the prefix “re” and the words “your business”. Michelidakis explains: “Our intention with the ‘reboot’ slogan is to demonstrate to the manufacturers that we are by their side. They will find that boot Düsseldorf 2021 is the ideal place for networking successfully and doing good business”.

Such prominent players as Princess, Azimut or San Lorenzo from the luxury yacht field have already booked space for their presentations at boot 2021. Others who have for example also confirmed their participation are the German market leaders Hanse and Bavaria or Greenline – the well-known innovative pioneer of alternative drive concepts from Slovenia – as well as Starboard, one of the major board producers.

“This means that boot is right on track. The industry is experiencing strong demand, driven by the trade fair this year”, says Michelidakis. While the German Marine Federation is positive in its assessment of the market too. Federation President Robert Marx outlines the situation: “We made an extremely motivated start to this year following a very good trade fair in January. It goes without saying that the corona crisis has proved to be a setback to the industry, but the prospects are good that water sports will experience a successful summer. I think that people will come to appreciate this type of sport in particular and am looking forward to boot 2021 as a stimulant for the entire international industry. It is indispensable for us as manufacturers.”

Werner M. Dornscheidt is being succeeded by Wolfram N. Diener in the executive management of Messe Düsseldorf. The CEO will continue to be directly responsible for the boating and water sports events – and thus boot – in future as well.

Messe Düsseldorf is already starting the new trade fair season on 4. September. CARAVAN SALON Düsseldorf 2020 will be taking place in line with the requirements of the corona protection regulations issued by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In this context, Messe Düsseldorf has developed a hygiene concept with specific measures in close liaison with the authorities. Petros Michelidakis: “This will ensure that our exhibitors enjoy the professional environment they are accustomed to for their business.”

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
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Messe Düsseldorf, organisers of Boot, the giant European Boat Show, have begun online registration for the forthcoming boot from 23 to 31 January 2021 under the motto “restart your business @ boot Düsseldorf”.

The show is popular with Irish visitors since the demise of the London Show with Boot now the world's largest indoor boat show.

Messe Düsseldorf CEO Werner Matthias Dornscheidt says “We are aware that the water sports industry is in a difficult position at the moment. I am, however, very confident that this situation can be overcome just as positively as the crisis in the years 2008/2009, with the help of the boot Düsseldorf business platform. Manufacturers managed to make an economic success of their business operations again back then too. They have continued to develop positively in recent years, thanks in part to boot, which has opened up new sales markets for its exhibitors. It is our conviction that the chartering segment has particularly strong growth potential in the coming years, as it represents an extremely individual, low-contact form of holidaymaking that promises maximum fun into the bargain” is how boot Director Petros Michelidakis describes the situation in the water sports sector.

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