20th International Nautical Fair: Biograd Boat Show, Bigger and Better Than Ever?

Lauren Simmonds

Will you be paying a visit?

The 20th Biograd Boat Show, organised by Ilirija d.d., a tourism company from Biograd na Moru with more than 60 years of experience and activity in that sector, will be held from the 18th to the 21st of October, 2018, as the largest Croatian but also Central European fair which takes place on the sea.

As Morski writes on the 18th of October, 2018, for the past nineteen years, the Biograd Boat Show has proved to be a top nautical event which defines both Biograd na Moru and Zadar County as an unmissable nautical ”centre”, and the fair itself manifests as a congress of both the nautical industry and of tourism in Croatia, all in one place.

Ilirija.d.d. proved its pioneering and visionary ideals more than forty years ago with the construction of the first nautical tourism port of the Hotel harbour of Kornati, from which the real development of nautical and charter tourism in the Croatian part of the Adriatic sea initially started.

Ilirija.d.d. is therefore naturally proud to be the country’s pioneer of nautical tourism. From that time on, Biograd na Moru has managed to become the centre of nautical tourism on the Adriatic, and it is visited annually by over 60,000 boaters from all over the world.

This, the 20th jubilee Biograd Boat Show sold out in record time, and this year the fair will be marked particularly by the continuous growth of registered exhibitors and their exhibited vessels.

The European premieres have particular emphasis placed on them, including Futura 40 Grand Horizon, a spacious, luxury yacht, and one of the most beautiful specimens when it comes to luxury yachts in general – the Frauscher 858 Phantom, as well as the Croatian premiere, the stunning Prestige 520S – a 50-ft yacht.

This year, the boat show will expand and include new floating exhibition spaces on two new exhibition grounds, which also expands the land area of ​​the fair. There has been a significant increase in the appearance of luxury motor yachts at the fair, including catamarans and electro-diesel hybrids.

This year, Biograd B2B will feature the National Shipbuilding Association (NMMA) from the United States, which, aside from being a manufacturer of ships, represents both manufacturers of equipment and marine engines, just like similar European associations from the United Kingdom, Italy, and Norway, which will all further contribute to strengthening the international character of the fair which will, in front of European representatives, also include exhibitors from North America this year.

In addition, in the scope of the fair and the Biograd B2B exhibitors, it has been made possible for exhibitors to propose their vessels for testing and the potential to win the Best of Boats International award. The Best of Boats award is otherwise the biggest annual award focused on motor boats across Europe.

Under the organisation of the nautical portal nauCAT, another award ceremony will be organised which will award the winners of the “Croatian Boat of the Year 2018” on Friday the 19th of October. The nomination of the boats competing for this year’s title ended on the 15th of October, it was then followed by the voting of more than 80 producers from across the world present on the Croatian market, as well as Croatian shipbuilders.

Over the last two years, Ilirija.d.d. has been engaged in actively developing the “Biograd B2B” platform aimed at strengthening the business character of the fair, increasing the interaction between business visitors and exhibitors, and strengthening business activities and business networking which don’t require a display space. Biograd B2B also includes a rich congress program held in cooperation with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to congressional events, the Biograd Boat Show has been recognised as a fair that promotes business networking and meetings, as well as boasting a rich entertainment program like B2B Bash, which will be held on Friday, October the 19th, 2018.

More and more visitors and exhibitors from neighboring countries and beyond are attracted to the fair, and many of them have previously been acquainted with Croatia or Biograd either as one of the largest charter destinations in the world, or with Marina Kornati as one of the largest marinas in Croatia, located in the immediate vicinity of one of the most tragic Croatian nautical disasters, the Kornati tragedy.

The international recognition and continuing respect of the Biograd Boat Show among both exhibitors and visitors certainly contributes to Croatia’s overall popularity as an attractive nautical destination in numerous ways.


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