Marina industry healthy Down Under

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A survey measuring marina activity in Australia shows that the sector has experienced growth in multiple ways over the last six years.

The 2017 Club Marine Health of the Australian Marina Industry Survey was released yesterday. It was carried out by the Recreation Marine Research Center at Michigan State University for the Marina Industries Association in Sydney.

Ed Mahoney, who oversaw the study, said that 44 percent of Australia’s 320 marinas participated in the latest survey, which started in 2013. “The 120-page report is one of the most, if not the most, scientific and practically relevant marina surveys conducted anywhere in the world,” Mahoney said in a statement. “About 25 percent of the known Australian marinas completed all three surveys over a six-year period, and this provides the rare capacity to compare various performance measures over time.”

MIA chairman Andrew Chapman said the survey has been a key platform in MIA’s long-term strategy to support the sustainable development of its marina industry.

The key takeaways from the six-year study show steady demand for boat storage, workforce growth and infrastructure investments. Specific details include:

  • Steady demand for marina boat storage with national storage occupancy at 85 percent.
  • 38 percent of marinas have summer waiting lists for berth spaces.
  • 3 percent increase in supply to approximately 70,000 spaces.
  • Supply of 24-plus-meter plus berths grew 17 percent over this period.
  • Marina gross revenues were up significantly, increasing 32 percent to $3.2 million.
  • For the 2016-17 period, capital expenditure was on average $850,000 per marina.
  • Average marina payroll has increased 33 percent over the six-year period.
  • Exceptional growth of 96 percent over six years in the number of contactors employed at marinas.

MIA executive officer Colin Bransgrove says the study shows the importance of marinas as employment hubs and gathering places in local communities. Bransgrove noted a 30 percent increase in the number of marinas providing social or recreational programs for the general public. Investment in environmental protection has also more than doubled.

“These trends reflect the industry’s growing role as providers of community recreational, social and environmental services and leadership,” Bransgrove said in the statement.