The 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) officially opened its gates today after getting the go-ahead from officials last month. The show is the second major international yachting event to take place during the ongoing pandemic following the Genoa International Boat Show held earlier this October.
The Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) and the show's organisers, Informa, said that efforts had been made to safeguard the show, with measures including a contactless ticketing system, widened docks, temperature checks and a total of 14 different entrances. Deep cleaning and disinfection of “high touch points” will take place every hour during show opening hours while face coverings will be required by all exhibitors and ticket holders. The show also introduced a "know before you go" safety video for visitors attending.
President of Informa US Boat Shows Andrew Doole said organisers had “worked diligently to develop a plan so that every person who attends the show can do with confidence.”
He added: “We recognise the importance of the show and have spoken with key stakeholders, customers and local government officials, and the resounding response has been in support of moving forward with the outdoor event this fall.”
Fort Lauderdale mayor Dean Trantalis said: “It is vital that we get our economy back on track. The upcoming boat show is critical to accomplishing that because the show has a major positive economic impact on Fort Lauderdale by supporting local businesses and their employees.”
“Fort Lauderdale has been a leader in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have worked with the boat show to put together a solid plan to ensure it will be held with the utmost safety," he said.
The event will span five days and bring together a multitude of exhibitors from the yachting industry and beyond to showcase across nearly 90 acres of outdoor exhibition space - the likes of Azimut and Sunseeker to Princess, Chris-Craft and Ocean Alexander will be in attendance this year, alongside a showcase of luxury products, services and toys.
This year's edition will see world debuts from Astondoa and Cruisers Yachts, while visitors can also expect the return of the Windward VIP Club - now with an extended presence spanning the spaces of the Captain’s Lounge and Tower Building at the Bahia Mar main dock.