Miami International Boat Show could be goldmine for USVI

Jimmie Loveland may not be a name that you or I recognise but in the United States Virgin Islands he is causing quite a stir. The reason for this? Loveland has conceptualised one of the largest national trade fairs for the big gamefishing industry. The Big Game Room, an exposition area for fishing enthusiasts from around the world, has become an integral part of the Miami International Boat Show, one of the world’s leading marine industry events.
“It is impressive that a Virgin Islander saw this opportunity for our gamefishing business and brought it into fruition,” Commissioner Pamala Richards said. “Such a strong presence at this incredible national event provides our annual fishing tournaments and fishing charters an added boost for the 2004 season. We’re looking forward to participating in this public/private sector partnership opportunity.”

This year’s boat show, scheduled for February 12 - 17, 2004 in Miami, will welcome more than 2,300 of the marine industry’s top boat and boating equipment manufacturers in more than 2.5 million-square-feet of exhibit space. The event is produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the principal trade association of the recreational marine industry, whose members produce nearly 80 percent of United States’ recreational boating products - a $25 billion annual industry.

Realising the value of this event and the opportunity to reach the gamefishing industry’s target market, Jimmie Loveland, who heads up the annual Open Atlantic/Blue Marlin Tournament among other fishing events in the USVI, developed the additional exhibition space of the “Big Game Room,” to showcase fishing industry leaders. Celebrity anglers, international tournament organisers, boat manufacturers, blue-water tackle manufacturers, conservation groups, artists and various resorts and fishing destinations will come together for this annual event. In addition to a host of exhibitors, the Big Game Room also will feature guest speakers, hourly drawings for great prizes and the Marlin Bar, a Caribbean style hangout.The Big Game Room, as part of the Miami International Boat Show, will receive an extensive marketing and public relations campaign that includes print, television and Internet advertising, as well as local and national news coverage.