Nautica Italiana, the Italian industry association affiliated with Fondazione Altagamma and made up of some of Italy’s most prestigious brands, attended Yachts Miami Beach and the Miami International Boat Show to capitalise on the growth opportunities presented by the North and South American markets.

According to data released on the opening days of the Miami Boat Show by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the US boating industry has grown at a rate of six per cent a year over the course of the last five years, and is expected to continue.

Growth in America is the result of more than 88 million people sailing with an overall spending in excess of $37 billion. The NMMA data also showed that 95 per cent of the boats used in the US are manufactured locally.

“Based on the sentiment of Nautica Italiana’s members, it is this last figure that shows the greatest opportunities for our industry,” commented Lamberto Tacoli, chairman of Nautica Italiana. “Indeed, according to 2015 trends and 2016 forecasts gathered by our members, the US is a market with a strong growth potential, where a high appreciation and deep-rooted passion for boating offer great opportunities for the high-end Italian companies.”

Of the remaining five per cent of boats used – but not produced ­– in the US, Italian companies already produce the majority. Nautica Italiana believes that Italian boat builders can increase their US presence by targeting the highest end of the market.

“Both in terms of visitors and the growing number of exhibitors, the Miami International Boat Show was the litmus of a market that can grow in very interesting ways worldwide,” explained Giovanna Vitelli, vice-president of Nautica Italiana. “The interest for all-Italian products by the North-American public, as well as Latin-American visitors, was clear and, fortunately, we have seen it turn into sale and purchase agreements of all sizes. Many of our members are going back home with open negotiations that will be finalised in the following weeks.”