Barry 2019-08-03

A recent news report from IBI magazines daily industry newsletter reported some interesting facts about the Australian market.

The report by Tony Esposito in an interview with Domenic Genua, general manager for marketing and events at Australia’s Boating Industry Association (BIA) says while Australia has over 900,000 registered boats, boats that travel under 10kt need not be registered, and it is estimated there are 300,000 more of those. Around 20% of the population – some five million Australians – have access to or participate in boating, with some two million posessing a boat licence.

With new boat registrations averaging 14,000 per year, the marine industry in Australia is still an A$8.65bn industry led by sales, yard services, and charter operations.

As the largest boat show in the Southern hemisphere, the Sydney International Boat Show (SIBS) – running August 1-5 – leads the way in showcasing the Australian boating culture to the world and jump-starting the industry each year.

“Post GFC [Global Financial Crisis] in 2009, we took a substantial hit to our industry, which reduced in size by about 40%,” Genua told IBI. “However, at our peak, during [SIBS], our industry would expect to turn over A$5m per hour, A$250m during the course of the show, and another A$200m in August follow-up sales activity.”

 “If you appreciate that 93% of all registered vessels in Australia in Australia are less than 8m long, that tells you that we are a very large trailer boat market,” he told IBI.

Illustrating the point, personal watercraft (PWC) sales have increased each year for the past 10 years, while boat registrations have remained flat. There are some 76,000 PWCs registered in Australia.

The marine industry in Australia employs approximately 28,000 people, with most – about 75% – working in small businesses employing five people or less.

According to Genua, the industry is showing evidence of small growth, but is taking new forms like boat sharing and charter services.

“The Australian market place is a sleeping giant,” he said, “and what we have is an opportunity, moving forward, that we are going to say to the countries around the world, ‘watch this space’. You’ll be surprised at how we blossom and grow.”


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