Target Business Sectors

Marine Industries

Known worldwide as the “Yachting Capital of the World,” Greater Fort Lauderdale enjoys a thriving recreational marine industry that contributes an economic impact of $9 billion in Broward County, and $12 billion in the South Florida region, according to the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), recipient of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance 2017 Economic Development Partner of the Year award.

Greater Fort Lauderdale's marine industry is comprised of world-class shipyards, marinas, manufacturing, wholesale and retail marine products, brokers, dockage, and every conceivable type of marine service, all supported by more than 142,000 jobs regionally - 111,000 in Broward County alone, with $4 billion in wages and earnings that are typically 16 percent higher than the state average. Approximately 2,000 mega-yachts (vessels measuring 80 feet or more) visit the county each year.

International and domestic crew on any size vessel can earn both regulatory and non-regulatory qualifications, from entry-level through senior management positions, from Greater Fort Lauderdale’s maritime training options. The Broward County public school district offers 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 and marine mechanics programs at Broward College.

Port Everglades

The pearl of the industry is Port Everglades, which has positioned Fort Lauderdale as a major logistics hub, and is easily accessible by road, air and rail. A recent economic impact study by Martin Associates showed that economic activity at  Port Everglades injects nearly $30.4 billion into the economy, generating $1.1 billion in state and local taxes. The port  employs more than 13,000 people directly, who earn more 
than $500 million in salaries.

Port Everglades is one of the world's busiest cruise ports with more than 3.8 million passengers in fiscal year 2018. It  ranks third among cruise ports worldwide and has more homeported cruise ships than any other port. In Fiscal Year 2019, the port surpassed 750,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units, the industry's standard measure for containers) and ranked 10th in the nation. It is the region's main seaport for receiving petroleum products, including gasoline and jet fuel.

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS)

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, owned by MIASF and produced by Informa Exhibitions, is the world’s largest in-water boat show with more than 1,500 boats, 1,000 exhibitors and more than 100,000 visitors from 52 countries. A 2019 economic impact study concluded that the annual show contributes $1.3 billion to the state’s overall economy, with $715 million in direct sales, or more than 143 million each day!

Due to the size, scope, and popularity of the boat show, South Florida has become known as the yachting refit and repair capital of the world with a global reputation for excellence. Phil Purcell, MIASF's CEO/President said, “The economic impact of the boat show dwarfs that of any Super Bowl, and it happens year after year.”

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

Marine Research Hub of South Florida    

Greater Fort Lauderdale is nationally recognized for its leadership in oceanographic research. In 2016, the South Florida Marine Research Hub® Consortium was founded to foster collaboration among research, education, business and economic development organizations. It establishes the region as a global leader in oceanographic research that is making, or may make, a positive impact on the health of the oceans and bring substantial benefits to the global population. 

In October 2019, Fort Lauderdale hosted the 9th Annual Ocean Exchange, which featured twelve innovative, sustainable worldwide solutions that demonstrated the ability to generate economic growth and increase productivity while reducing the use of nature's resources.

Founding members of the Marine Research Hub include Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, University of Miami, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Miami-Dade Beacon Council and Marine Industries Association of South Florida.

For more information, please visit

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