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LICENSED TO THRILL; PS1m boat show returns with James Bond glamour to boost economy.

Byline: OWEN HUGHES Business Correspondent @dpbusinesswales

A BOAT show that generated PS1 million worth of business and brought a touch of James Bond glamour to North Wales is back.

The second All Wales Boat Show will be held at Conwy Quay Marina from May 30 to June 1. Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Ken Skates, who will open the event, hailed it as a shot in the arm for the economy.

Organisers are promising even more glitz this year.

Sunseeker Yachts, whose cruisers have featured prominently in several Bond movie blockbusters, are returning with an even bigger vessel. In addition, two other luxury motorboat makers, Fairline Wales and Sealine, will also be dipping their toe in the water this year, along with high end sailboats from Hanse and Delher.

Meanwhile, there will be luxury cars from Rolls Royce, Bentley and McLaren and even a helicopter.

At the other end of the spectrum, there will be coracles and bath-tub racing.

The show is being billed as a Celebration of Welsh Coast Life and the aim is to tap into the huge potential of the marine leisure industry which already pumps around PS200 million into the Welsh economy every year.

A study following the inaugural All-Wales Boat Show last year revealed PS1 million of regional business had been done as a result of the event - including PS620,000 in boat sales.

George Hill, brokerage manager of Bangor-based Dickies International, who sold two luxury motor yachts, said: "I'm very glad we decided to exhibit at the show, which has obviously been great for our business as selling two boats like this in a week is fantastic."

The 2014 event will be held over three days instead of five and will be staged on a single site on the Conwy side of the estuary instead of being split over two locations.

Deputy Minister Ken Skates said: "The fact that the inaugural event generated PS1 million worth of regional business demonstrates the vast potential of the marine industry in terms of boosting the economy.

This area in particular has some real advantages which I call the three big Cs - the cost of sailing is less, it has a coastline you would struggle to find better anywhere and the clarity of its water.

"The All-Wales Boat Show is the perfect showcase for all these advantages and I am delighted I have been invited back this year.

"The Welsh Government is determined to see the marine leisure industry grow and that coastal communities benefit from this expanding market.

There was an equally positive message from Steve Morgan, Chief Executive of the Welsh Yachting Association.

He said: Our ambition is to make Wales one of the best places in the world to be a sailor.

"The marine leisure industry in Wales is a major player in terms of economic development and it needs the All-Wales Boat Show.

Davina Carey-Evans, Managing Director of show organisers Sbarc, was very excited by the prospects for this year''s event.

She said: Things are coming together extremely well and it promises to be a fantastic event which will provide a foundation for building on the potential of the marine sector in creating wealth and employment.

CAPTION(S):

All aboard: Rupert Moon, WRU North Wales, and Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology on the Sunseeker at the launch of the All-Wales Boat Show at Conwy Quay Marina
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 2, 2014
Words:566
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