Genoa Boat Show


22 September 2022





Today at the 62nd Genoa International Boat Show, during the Boating Economic Forecast conference, the new edition of Nautica in Cifre – LOG, the statistical yearbook produced by the Italian Marine Industry’s Research and Market Intelligence Office in partnership with the Edison Foundation and boasting the patronage of the Italian Ministry for Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, was presented to the world.

The event kicked off with greetings from Andrea Razeto, Vice President of the Italian Marine Industry Association, Carlo Maria Ferro, President of the Italian Trade Agency, and Andrea Benveduti, Councillor for the Economic Development of the Liguria Region.

The presentation showed how the year 2021 for the Italian yachting industry turned out to be the year with the best increase in turnover ever, and how the boating year that has just ended ensures solid prospects for 2022 as well, consolidating a clear structural growth.

Considering the economic and political scenarios we are currently going through – with strong criticalities on the component supply front, unpredictable fluctuations in prices and availability of raw materials, and an increasingly evident shortage of skilled labour – this is an exceptional result for our companies.

The numbers are clear: the sector’s overall turnover has risen from 4.6 billion in 2020 to an impressive 6.1 billion in 2021. The increase compared to the previous year was +31.1%: an extraordinary figure that will not only compensate for the slight drop recorded in 2020 but will also bring the sector’s turnover to almost the same level as during the record two-year period of 2007-2008.

Among the decisive factors fuelling this growth is export of shipbuilding production, which in the sliding year ending March 2022 reached an all-time high of 3.37 billion euros, with the USA as the leading market for our yards (485 million euros, or 16.4% share). Other determining factors are the order books of Italian yacht and superyacht yards, which for many operators even cover the next three years, and the excellent performance of the boating accessories and engines sectors.

Carlo Maria Ferro, President of the Italian Trade Agency: “The Italian boating industry is highly appreciated abroad for its ability to bring together the excellence of the Made in Italy brand across mechanics, technology, design, furniture, and components. All this answers the question of why the sector’s numbers are so positive: because when demand picks up, people buy the best product. Export figures confirm this: in 2020 exports grew despite everything, in 2021 numbers increased by 34% and in the first six months of 2022 they grew by another 72%. We are satisfied with Italian exports and we are very satisfied with yachting exports”.

The yachting industry, thanks to the daily commitment of our passionate entrepreneurs, is therefore consolidating its position as a flagship of the Made in Italy brand and a true excellence on a global level,” commented Stefano Pagani Isnardi, Head of Research and Market Intelligence at the Italian Marine Industry Association. “At Confindustria Nautica we are working constantly to boost its development and affirm its success in the world”.

The total number of employees rose to 26,350, further strengthening the positive employment trend (+9.7% compared to the previous year) that characterised all sectors of the industry, with a particular incidence in the construction of new units (+14.7%), in which almost half of the sector’s total employees (14,710) are employed.

The boating sector’s contribution to the national GDP was over €5.1 billion in 2021, a sharp increase (+31.4%) compared to the 2020 figure. The weight of the boating sector’s contribution to the national GDP also increased from 2.37‰ in 2020 to 2.89‰ in 2021, mirroring the sector’s expansionary phase.

As highlighted by prof. Marco Fortis, Director and Vice-President of the Edison Foundation, “leisure and sporting boats” are also among the sectors to have recorded the highest growth in exports since the beginning of the new millennium: considering only the most relevant manufacturing sectors for the Italian trade balance, i.e. those with a trade surplus of more than €2 billion in 2021, the “Leisure Boats and Sporting Boats” sector ranks tenth in terms of export growth; in particular, exports in the sector have risen from €850 million in 2000 to €3 billion in 2021, recording a growth of €2.1 billion in absolute terms and 247.6% in percentage terms.

Total exports of “Leisure and sporting boats” in 2021 showed the sector’s remarkable resilience to the negative economic effects triggered by the global Covid-19 pandemic and amounted to more than €2.9 billion, up 40.4% from the 2020 figure. Non-European countries are confirmed as the main destination of Italian sales overseas: direct exports to non-EU markets amounted to €2.2 billion, corresponding to 74.6% of Italian exports in the sector (compared to 64.3% in 2020), while those to the 27 EU countries amounted to €750.4 million, equal to 25.4% (35.7% in 2020).

Lastly, the latest LOG report data on the main territorial production poles of the Italian boating industry: ranking in first place, drawn up by turnover value, we find the “Upper Mediterranean production pole” (the provinces of Genoa, La Spezia, Massa-Carrara, Lucca, Pisa and Livorno), which excels beyond the other 4 territorial poles for all quantities considered. This district accounts for 36.7% of the sector’s employees and 54.4% of its turnover. This is followed by the “Adriatic production pole” (the provinces of Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena, Rimini, Pesaro-Urbino and Ancona), with 12.3% of the sector’s total enterprises and 23.3% of the sector’s turnover. Lombardy accounts for 11.8% of national employment in the sector and 9.6% of total turnover.

The Italian yachting sector,” Fortis concluded, “combines all the characteristics of an enterprise in the modern sense. That is to say, we have a perfect mix of technology, design, furnishings, components; production is carried out by medium-large companies who are leaders when it comes to purchases, organised into districts. All typical characteristics of the Made in Italy brand”.

In the context of the conference, a preview of the ‘Geographies of the Italian boating industry’ data was presented, a publication commissioned to the Symbola Foundation by the Mare Nostrum Network of businesses (made up of the Italian Marine Industry Association and the service companies of the Industry Confederations of Genoa, Tuscany and Ancona), which will be presented at the end of the year at a dedicated event.

The yachting system represents one of the most dynamic segments of the economy,” stated Domenico Sturabotti, Director of the Symbola Foundation, “as well as a world reference in the production of yachts and leisure boats. A leadership that has also been built on a first-rate production network, spread across the country and operating upstream and downstream of the supply chain. In the two-year period between 2019-2021, as emerges from the Report produced by the Symbola Foundation, companies in the yachting system increased added value at current prices by +7.8% (with segments such as shipbuilding which saw an increase of +27.9%) compared to -1.3% for the total economy and -0.2% for the Made in Italy sector, the so-called “4As” of Food, Clothing, Furnishing and Automation (in Italian, AlimentareAbbigliamentoArredo and Automazione). Employment also recorded positive results, with a growth for the supply chain as a whole of +3.2% (+10.3% for shipbuilding production). Behind these results is the ability to work as a system both at a national and territorial level and an impactful investment in quality, expertise, innovation and sustainability“.

Of great interest are also the figures relating to the yachting supply chain multipliers – 9.2 for employment and 7.5 for added value – the highest among marine economies.

During the conference, Andrea Benveduti, Liguria Region’s Councillor for Economic Development, recalled how “the Blue Economy is a strategic pillar for our region. Occasions like this are a showcase, not only for the boating world, but an opportunity for the entire regional economic development to showcase the wealth of our region. This 62nd edition shows growing numbers, which take us back to the pre-Covid period and which are a good omen in view of the coming years, when, with the Eastern Waterfront reaching completion, we will be able to see even more of the key development opportunities this sector will be able to offer“.