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Retracing Vasco da Gama's footsteps

October 20, 2006 04:07 IST

The India International Boat Show (IIBS) 2006, being organised by Kerala Tourism, is all set to be unique with history being recreated.

Coinciding with the boat show, the tourism department is organising a 'Vasco da Gama Yacht Rally' that will traverse Vasco da Gama's route when he first set foot here, and culminate near the boat show venue in Kochi.

According to Kerala minister for tourism Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and tourism director B Suman, a rally comprising 16 yachts, which have set sail from Greece, would anchor off the Bolghatty Island in Kochi when the IIBS 2006 is on.  

Billed as India's premier recreational boating and marine equipment show and south Asia's definitive boat show, IIBS 2006 will be kicked off on October 20 at the Le Meridian in Kochi. The three-day event will showcase the latest technology as well as some of the leading names in the marine industry.

Formatted as a business expo, IIBS 2006 will have special segments in leisure boating, marine equipment, marine engines, and navigational and telecommunication aids, Balakrishnan said.

Among the 60-odd exhibitors at the show will be global boating brands like Bayliner, Trophy, Feretti, Walker Bay and Regal. These apart, marine equipment market leaders such as Garmin, Lalizas, Plastimo, Vetus and Volvo Penta will showcase their ware.

The Indian participation will be ensured by boatbuilders Praga Marine, Seaspray Aluminium Boats, Hunter marine, Aries Marine and Alcock Ashdown.

The exhibition comprises 550-sq ft of air-conditioned space at the Le Meridien, 7,000-sq ft of product display space and 10 on--the-water displays.

According to Suman, a special spotlight on the traditional boating sector of Kerala will mark IIBS 2006 and a major attraction will be the display of traditional boat-building and fishing equipment. As many as 25 traditional boat builders will put on show their skills at the expo.

IIBS 2006, which will extend till October 22, is expected to provide a one-stop platform for exhibitors and 400-plus buyers from India and overseas. The event is also tipped to be a perfect platform for them to meet potential partners, one-to-one meetings and explore growth horizons.

As part of IIBS 2006, a seminar on the potential prospects for marine tourism in India will also be organised on October 21.

The show will be inaugurated by tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
Sanjeev Ramachandran in Chennai/ Thiruvananthapuram