Newport International Boat Show. Contributed photo.

The Newport International Boat Show has had a significant impact on the local economy in Newport County, Rhode Island, according to an economic impact study conducted by Performance Research.

The study, which was completed in November 2022, found that the boat show, which is one of the largest in-water events in the country, had a total economic impact of $26.1 million.

The show drew over 40,000 attendees, the vast majority of whom were from out of state, with many traveling internationally. Boats on display at the show had an estimated worth of $175 million, with boat sales estimated at $35-40 million.

“After 51 years of proven impact, this just cements our status as an economic driver in Newport and far beyond,” said Lisa Knowles, Show Director of Newport International Boat Show in a statement. “Our show is a quintessential Newport experience, proven time and time again to be a true partner for our State and local community while also driving economic goals for all. With our widespread draw, we continue to play an important role in the success of the marine trades businesses and recreation, as well as a leading destination for travelers.”

Hotels were the most benefited sector, with an impact of $5.3 million. Other high-earning sectors included restaurants, transportation, and retail goods, totaling close to $10 million. The show also brought in $4 million in state and county taxes and created 218 full-time equivalent jobs in Newport County.

“The impact the Show brings to the city of Newport, marine industry and economy overall is vital to the overall success of the Ocean State,” said Evan Smith, President and CEO of Discover Newport in a statement. “The Newport International Boat Show has always created an economic boom for local businesses, bringing in visitors and exhibitors for the entirety of the Show, as well as driving the financial success of local hotels and restaurants. While Newport hosts many world-class events, the boat show adds to the stability and prosperity of our local community, as well as providing the annual tradition of the Fall boat show for all boating enthusiasts to enjoy.”

Economic impact highlights:

  • $26.1 million in economic impact for Newport County
  • The most benefitted sector was hotels, with $5.3 million
  • Other high-earning sectors included restaurants, transportation, and retail goods totaling close to $10 million
  • The Show brought in $4 million in state and county taxes
  • There were 218 full-time equivalent jobs created in Newport County

The 2023 Newport International Boat Show is scheduled for September 14-17, 2023.


Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...