Florida Nonprofit Boosts Economy with Annual Event Bigger than Super Bowl April 1, 2016

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By Kelly Church

As the “largest trade organization in the southeast United States dedicated to promoting, protecting and growing” the marine industry, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida has been in the nonprofit business for more than 30 years and has helped encourage an economic output of $11.5 billion for the region.

“South Florida’s marine industry employs 136,000, has an annual economic impact of $11.5 billion and is the center of our region’s oceanographic marine hub”, says Executive Director Phil Purcell. “Some of the ways we are promoting the sound growth of the industry include advocating for the passage of the sales tax cap on boat repairs, which was passed last year, and advocating for issues that affect the industry, such as the dredging of the Intracoastal from 17th Street to Sunrise, which is scheduled to start this year.”
The project will deepen a portion of the Intracoastal Watery to accommodate for larger boats. By allowing larger boats to pass through the waterway, grander yachts are able to partake in the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, an annual event that is the largest boat show in the world and just celebrated its 56th year.

“No boat show in the world can compare to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,” Purcell says. “[The event] has an estimated annual economic impact of more than $500 million, which is larger than [the] Super Bowl every year. More than 100,000 people from over 54 countries attend the show, which has taken decades to create. Those visitors also provide a huge influx to our area’s hotels, restaurants, private airports, taxis and other service providers during the show.”
According to the Marine Industries Association of South Florida website, the International Boat Show not only acts as a celebration of boats for fans, but also is an opportunity for key decision-makers in the international marine industry to meet face-to-face and establish deals and partnerships that benefit the global business. The event spans seven locations, totaling more than three million square feet, and displays boats, the newest equipment, personal submarines, water toys and yachts. Purcell says all the visitors to the International Boat Show have access to an estimated $4 billion of marine equipment.

Members are given access to the “largest marine industry network in the southeast and to boating industry associations in the U.S. and worldwide.” Newsletters, events, access to related industry groups and jobs, members can grow their passion for the marine world.

There are various levels of memberships to fit different types of businesses. To find out if you and your business qualify for a membership with the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, visit

© MIASF 2019 | All rights reserved | Photo credit: J. Christopher Photography

Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 221 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Phone: 954.524.2733