The 24th Annual Biograd Boat Show opens in marina Kornati by Ilirija d.d.
BIOGRAD NA MORU – Organised and hosted by Ilirija d.d., the 24th annual international nautical fair, Biograd Boat Show, was opened on Wednesday in Marina Kornati in Biograd na Moru. This is the largest nautical fair in Central Europe and a Gold Member of the International Federation of Boat Show Organizers, which includes 36 prominent global nautical fairs.
The manner in which the fair is organised, showcasing boats on the sea and placing exhibitor spaces on jetties and within Croatia’s third largest marina, has made it possible to continue organising this manifestation. The 24th annual Biograd Boat Show holds tremendous importance for Croatian nautical industry and tourism in general, and it will present 300 exhibitors and showcase over 300 vessels from 2 to 22 metres in length.
The fair was opened by Mr Josip Bilaver, state secretary from the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure in the presence of Mr Goran Ražnjević, CEO of Ilirija d.d., the organiser and host of the fair. The opening ceremony was attended by Mr Tonči Glavina, state secretary from the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, Mr Šime Mršić, state secretary from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Šime Vicković, deputy county president of the Zadar County, Mr Ivan Knez, mayor of Biograd na Moru, Mr Kristjan Staničić, CEO of the Croatian National Tourist Board, and Mr Dragan Kovačević, Vice President for Agriculture and Tourism at the Croatian Chamber of Economy.
Mr Goran Ražnjević, CEO of Ilirija d.d., commented:
“This has been a special year for our Ilirija family, as we mark 65 years of continuous business operations and 45 years since the construction of the first dedicated port for nautical tourism, our Hotel Port Kornati, the birthplace of Croatian nautical tourism, as well as the acquisition of our first charter fleet of 40 Elan vessels. Following that, Ilirija continued contributing to the development of nautical tourism when it completed the construction of the first stage of Marina Kornati in 1985, with 705 berths and categorised as a 4-anchor port, where the Biograd Boat Show has been held since its beginning.
Having recognised the potential of nautical tourism for the overall development of tourism and economy of our destination, and with a view of maintaining year-round operations, Ilirija started the Biograd Boat Show nautical fair 24 years ago. The Biograd Boat Show is one of few nautical fairs in the world to have continued operating even in these extremely challenging times for the whole tourism industry.
This nautical fair has made Biograd na Moru and the entire Zadar County, as well as Croatia, the central nautical destination in national and regional terms. This year’s fair marks a full return to pre-pandemic figures, in terms of the number of exhibitors, vessels and launches, at a time of a significant recovery of the nautical market. Biograd Boat Show returns in full gear, showing growth in all segments – exhibitions, business, congress and charters.
The entire Ilirija d.d. Team wishes our dear exhibitors, partners, sponsors and visitors, and everyone who loves and respects the sea and is part of the nautical industry, five days of pure enjoyment at the largest Central European and Croatian exhibition of vessels.
Once again, Biograd Boat Show is a “4-in-1 fair” – it has exhibition, congress, charter and B2B components: the Biograd Boat Show – exhibition fair, the 6th annual Croatian Nautical Days – congress fair, the 4th annual Croatian Charter Expo – charter fair, and the Biograd B2B business fair.
Over 300 exhibitors from Croatia and beyond will be present at the exhibition part of the fair. Boat fans can see the launch of 40 vessels, showcased by over 20 companies. Some of the vessels presented to the world in Biograd are the Monachus Issa 45 Fly built by Monachus Yachts, a Croatian yacht construction company, Elan Impression 43 by the Slovenian company Elan, and the SuperRIB 27 constructed by the Pribudić-Borčić company. Numerous other new Croatian models are also exhibited, such as the Monachus 70 Fly, the largest serial yacht in the history of Croatian shipbuilding, as well as a newcomer to the Croatian market, the Pičuljan Squama 21 Open from the Pičuljan Pro-Nautic shipbuilding yard of the island of Rab.
There will be several Croatian market premieres, such as the new vessels from the luxury sailboat builders Solaris and their model 50, as well as a number of luxurious Absolute motor yachts, especially the Navetta 68, Navetta 58, Navetta 48 and 48 Coupe, presented to the Croatian market by the Rovinj company Adriatic Wave. More Ocean presents its vessel Hallberg-Rassy 57 to the Croatian market, Paspartu Yachts shows its Targu 27.2 TF AD for the first time in the Mediterranean region, while Aventur exhibits its luxury yacht Tesoro T40. Finnish brand Saxdor presents its models Saxdor 320 GTC and 320 GTO Sport, while Fountaine Pajot MY4.S and Excess 11 are debuting in the catamaran segment.
When it comes to the congress part of the fair, the Croatian Chamber of Economy is organising the 6th annual Nautical Days, with a congress programme to be held on 26, 27 and 28 October. A discussion panel will be held on its first day, covering SUSTAINABLE NAUTICAL TOURISM 2030 – Sustainability, digitalisation and premium services in the nautical tourism within the framework of the new Act on Maritime Property and Sea Ports, as well as the new strategic documents of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport and the Croatian National Tourism Board, with expert participants. The rest of the 6th annual Nautical Days will host meetings of all nautical associations members of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, i.e. the representatives of the nautical industry and tourism: associations of marinas, small shipbuilding companies, as well as charter vessel service providers.
The business segment of the fair is held through a B2B platform for business networking of the nautical sector, a recognisable practice of the Biograd Boat Show, which has more importance than ever before, especially when it comes to meetings. The platform enables businesses to schedule meetings with exhibitor and other businesses taking part in the fair, as well as to participate in the overall nautical congress programme.
Croatia Charter Expo has been moved to a new and larger hall D in the Marina Kornati - north, closer to the exhibited charter vessels and meetings in the Captain's Club. This is the fourth time this charter fair is being organised, and it will take place on the 26th and 27th October, exclusively for the yacht-charter industry. It enables charter vessel service providers to directly meet with agents, brokers and suppliers, and this year it includes an active specialised charter congress programme. This event showcases the importance of Croatia in the charter segment, as it has the strongest charter fleet making up 40% of the world’s fleet, and the charter companies participating in the Biograd fair have a fleet of over 3000 yachts.
Another major change to the fair this year, alongside relocating the Croatia Charter Expo, is the new “Pop-Up Megastore”, presented at an area covering 600m2 in the Marina Kornati - west, where Marina Stores has an entire nautical offer for direct sale to visitors, while in the Marina Kornati - north there is a new pontoon bridge enabling easier access and better flow of traffic as it connects the main jetty with jetty no. 6 where more vessels will be showcased this year.
After two pandemic years, the Biograd Boat Show returns to its old glory and legendary entertainment programme, with free admission every evening. The programme on Saturday opens with spectacular fireworks by Orion Pirotehnika in front of the B hall, followed by a concert by Neno Belan & Fiumens, and closed by a special “Samba & you” party. On Friday night, the Disco Magic Band performs its “Get the Funk Out” Programme in the B hall, including top-tier sound and light production accompanied by the sounds of DJ Mario, guaranteed to entertain the lively audience which makes Biograd Boat Show so unique. The Marina Kornati restaurant also offers music entertainment programme every night.
Thanks to the support of national and county authorities, as well as the town of Biograd na Moru, and the continued cooperation with the Croatian Chamber of Economy and the Croatian National Tourism Board, the effort put in by the staff and the professional services of Ilirija d.d., the continuity of this event which holds immense importance for nautical industry and nautical tourism as the most competitive and highest quality part of the Croatian tourism offer could be maintained.