Target Business Sectors

Marine Industries

Known as the “International Marine Hub” and the “Yachting Capital of the World,” Greater Fort Lauderdale enjoys a thriving recreational marine industry and leads the state, according to the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), which has more than 500 member companies. 

Today, Greater Fort Lauderdale’s marine industry encompasses world-class shipyards, manufacturing, wholesale and retail marine products, brokers, dockage and every conceivable type of marine service. With an economic impact estimated at $8.8 billion in the county and $11.5 billion in the region, this is one of the area’s largest sectors, contributing more than 110,000 jobs in Broward County and 136,000 jobs regionally and representing more than $4 billion in wages and earnings in the region, up from $3 billion in 2010.

MIASF owns the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the world’s largest in-water boat show, which is produced by Show Management. A 2016 economic impact study concluded that the 56th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show contributed $857 million to the state’s overall economy. Phil Purcell, executive director of the marine association, added, “The economic impact of FLIBS dwarfs a Super Bowl, and it happens year after year.”

With more than 50,000 registered vessels cruising its 300 miles of navigable waterways and Atlantic shores, Greater Fort Lauderdale is also an internationally renowned port of call when cruising or sailing to Caribbean and North American destinations. Approximately 2,000 megayachts (vessels measuring 80 feet or more) visit the county each year, and each visit generates an estimated $488,000 in economic impact through boatyard and marina expenditures, purchases and related services from businesses that serve the marine industry.

International and domestic crews benefit from Greater Fort Lauderdale’s excellent crew training schools, which enable them to upgrade their skills while in port. The Broward school system also enables workforce development through an educational development ladder that begins with a marine magnet program at New River Middle School, continues at South Broward High School and can culminate with certification at the marine service tech program at McFatter Technical College or the marine engineering program at Broward College.

For marine industry and Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show information, visit

For information regarding business location and expansion in Greater Fort Lauderdale, please contact Todd Holt, the Alliance's Director of Business Development at 954-627-0124 or via email at