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South Florida Boat Shows: A Billion Dollar Economic Boom

Boasting the world's biggest boat show, South Florida's boat culture attracts maritime lovers from all over-100,000 attendees annually to be exact. Last year's show generated $1.3 billion in economic output throughout the state of Florida, according to MIASF and Informa - amounting to more than $143 million in direct sales per day during the five-day show.

“Not only does the show have a bigger economic impact than any Super Bowl, FLIBS sustains the $12 billion South Florida marine industry and its 142,000 jobs for the remaining 360 days of the year, solidifying the region’s reputation as, not just the yachting capital of the world, but the refit and repair capital of the world, as well.” stated MIASF CEO and president Phil Purcell.

Even non-boat lovers flock to the show, indulging in the energy and excitement along with luxurious elements like upscale dining and attractions. Taking in the South Florida sunshine and sea breeze, I strolled along the wooden planks taking in the pristine yachts that have come to be a symbol of Miami and South Florida. I dreamed of many a boat day upon moving to the Sunshine state- an experience I have had the fortune to have many of living in the yacht capital of the world. The magical lure of the South Florida sea is the catalyst to the success of the FLIBS, sparking an enchantment that attracts a diverse pool of boat lovers.

With massive boats spanning hundreds of feet to boats with helicopters on board (above) the air of baller is well and alive at the FLIBS. With high end boating comes leisurely yet high end looks, flaunted amongst the runway-like board walk. Inspired by a "sea goddess" concept, my flowy blue and leopard print JLuxelabel sarong skirt and matching bodysuit along with blue and tan strappy wedges had me flowing with ease.

Fellow belle of the boat show Alexis (below) stepped out in eye catching white and tan strappy square toed Ralph Lauren espadrilles, white flouncy shirt-dress and bralette, and camel straw hat. Classic and preppy with a sexy twist, Alexis turned heads in the ensemble, showing off both her legs and feminine, chic style.

The below FLIBS fashionista's cream and burgundy look, from the fedora, to the flared fringe mini, and studded gladiator Valentino sandals were a major head turner. Proving that the art of functionality and fashion can co-exist, the look not only shields her from the sun, but comfortably aides her in ease for a day of walking.

Naturally, boating comes with a need for swimsuits, creatively on display throughout the show. The below Jypsea Local swimsuit models promoted the Fort Lauderdale boutique's colorful an handcrafted swimsuits and kimonos as they passed out beautifully printed masks to crowd goers.

Whether you attend a South Florida boat show for the yachts, the food, or the fashion fun is had for all that attend this booming billion dollar business.

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