By Chris Graeme [email protected]
Traders and retailers are starting to feel the pinch in the water sports leisure industry, with across the board sales down 40 per cent.
But when it comes to buying expensive yachts the luxury end of the market is surprisingly buoyant with boat builders and retailers keeping well afloat.
Sales of caravans and motor homes are having a difficult time, with sales plummeting by 50 per cent according to the latest figures from Portugal’s largest boat and water industry show, Nauticampo, which runs at the FIL in Lisbon until Sunday, February 15.
The 42nd edition of the annual event spread out over three halls featured everything and anything to do with leisure activities on the sea, river and land.
This year’s theme is more ecologically focused, with the great outdoors and radical sports taking up a large chunk of exhibitor space.
Director of FIL Feiras, Fátima Vila Maior, told the Algarve Resident: “Despite the crisis, there are opportunities out there. Many people are cutting back on travelling abroad and investing in a tent or a caravan home because they can explore Portugal, Spain or Europe and cut the cost of hotels.”
This year’s fair, while still big on boats and yachts, is also concentrating on sports such as windsurfing, surfing, jet-skiing, mountaineering, parachuting and canoeing.
“People are interested in health, outdoor activities and nature; they are environmentally conscious and it’s not just about a week frying on the beach any more,” said Fátima Vila Maior.
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