“To help relaunch a passion for sailing, we need new and innovative products”: our interview with Luca Bassani, founder of Wally
- 28 September 2020
Over 71 thousand visitors, 73 events, 824 exhibitors, 18 world premieres, 820 accredited reporters, 1300 articles and 6 hours of television services dedicated to the event. These are just a few of the statistics from the 60th Genoa Boat Show, the first in Europe and the Mediterranean in Covid times, which went above even the most positive expectations, selling out all tickets notwithstanding the pandemic and bad weather.
“2020 was the Show of courage – began Marina Stella, general manager for Confindustria Nautica, during a concluding press conference – a positive outcome for us, and for the businesses that we consulted this morning in our general meeting, who spoke about a number of contacts, great quality, new Italian clients who have once again begun looking at boating products, international clients who were there to admire the products exhibited, as well as the 18 world premieres.”
“The Italian boating industry closed 2019 – noted Stella – with a growing turnover of 12% and 2020, thanks to being able to return to production after the interruption caused by the lockdown, is showing signs of holding, also thanks to the Boat Show. In addition, for 2021, 8 companies out of 10 are expecting a stable year.”
A Show which has demonstrated to the world what Italian know-how is made of. The Genoese event was the only show in Europe that was brave enough to go ahead, safely, respecting provisions by the World Health Organisation and with the ambition of becoming the most important Boat Show in the Mediterranean.
“We are demonstrating to the world that Genoa is capable of rolling up its sleeves, working together and getting results. Confindustria Nautica has done a great job”, noted the mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci. “In the new dockyard – he announced – there will be 80 thousand square metres more available and 200 thousand in 2022 once the work on the Waterfront is complete.”
“We will double the spaces – added the first citizen – 400 thousand square metres for a Boat Show is, I believe, a singular opportunity to tell Cannes and Montecarlo: come to Genoa, we can host you all. We have a ten-year contract with Confindustria Nautica to turn the Genoa Boat Show into the most beautiful show in the world.”
“This is the successful result – said the governor of Liguria, Giovanni Toti – of the initiative, and the desire to not be ruled by fear as well as organisational skills. It all went very well, notwithstanding the Covid emergency and the weather warnings. This is proof of the resilience of this land and its businesses, who are able to transform difficulties into opportunities. This new social pact between businesses, politicians and citizens – concluded the Ligurian governor – must be at the basis of everything we do in this country over the next few months.”
Great satisfaction was also expressed by Saverio Cecchi, president of Confindustria Nautica.
“I want to thank the 71 thousand supporters – he said – the ‘ultras’ who took on the bad weather and Covid to come to the Show. We have made a miracle that allowed our businesses to work as if nothing had happened, including the bad weather. Also in terms of deals, there are those saying that this was the best Show in the last 15 years: people want to go boating and have freedom and we have proven that boating is safe”.
Among the many positive notes, however, there was also some bitterness, as shared by the president of Confindustria Nautica, who during the conference, vented a little.
“With this Show – he declared from the stage – we have created a miracle, which allowed our companies to work as if nothing had happened and they needed it, just like they needed important provisions. We aren’t talking about subsidies, but about correcting those imbalances that now make it more convenient to choose a European flag, or sign a leasing contract with another country”.
“These provisions – said the chairman of Confindustria Nautica – were approved by the financial committee, added to the amendment by the government in August, and approved by the State treasury Office. Yet 5 fundamental amendments for the competitiveness of this industry were cancelled last night by the Senate, I am convinced this is following the political controversies of the last few days.”
“We are absolutely bewildered – concluded Cecchi – in seeing that, after months of difficulty like the ones we have gone through, political opposition prevails over concrete action, for businesses, the local areas and local bodies proving that resilience which is recognised by the entire world.”
Maria Cristina Sabatini