The 18th Palma Boat Show opens its doors tomorrow with sailing and competitive fishing, which are two rapidly growing markets, being the highlights of the fair which is staged in the Old Port of Palma, directly in front of La Lonja. This year's event will feature 536 exhibitors from 22 different countries and the fair will be thirty per cent larger than it was three years ago, which, according to the organisers, is a clear indication of how the nautical industry is expanding. The President of the Balearic Association of Nautical Companies, Margarita Dahlberg, said yesterday that because of the scale of this year's fair, the association intends to carry out an indepth survey of exhibitors and the nautical public in order to establish the exact condition of the nautical industry in the Balearics and what progress has been made over the past few years. She said yesterday that the association's estimates suggest that the marine industry is worth some 30'000 million pesetas a year to the Balearics and industry sources have been recently complaining that the authorities do not appear to appreciate just how important the yachting industry is to the local economy. Another new feature to this year's fair is the high level of participation from foreign and overseas companies and one of the aims over the next week is to try and boost the nautical tourist industry as there will be a large contingent of charter companies and yacht brokers. The main countries participating in the fair, apart from the Balearics and Spain, will be Italy, the United States, France and the United Kingdom. There will also be 149 sailing yachts on show, 146 motor boats and a host of the very latest accessories and equipment. Fires i Congressos, who organise the fair, said yesterday that because of the huge response to this year's fair, which is expected to be visited by over 55'000 people, they are already making plans for an even larger fair, covering a much greater area, next year.

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