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November December 2018 Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

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INTERNATIONAL Marinas of all types and sizes are increasingly focused on service, style and destination appeal. Since Marina World was launched nearly 20 years ago, increased attention has been paid to perfecting facilities and infrastructure, preserving the environment, liaising strongly with local communities, and obtaining certification that reflects standards of quality that meet the needs of discerning boat owning customers. Modern marinas are grasping the need to make use of the latest technology, responding positively to the increasing software options now available to manage wet and dry berths, dockside power and water, boatyard equipment, and more. Marinas have long been the focal point of new waterfront developments, coastal and inland resorts, and take centre stage in the rehabilitation of disused brownfield sites within the world’s port cities. As such, they have been developed sensitively to reflect local architecture and ambience, meld with local culture and help coastal cities extend seamlessly to the water’s edge. Marinas, whether privately owned or the responsibility of municipal authorities, are increasingly seen as good investments. There has been a marked rise in ‘networks’ – marinas under varied ownership that band together to offer cruise-between programmes and shared customer benefits – and the rise of serious USbased companies who are amassing portfolios of marinas and boat clubs that supersize anything the industry has seen before. The opportunity to create strong visible brand names at valuable waterfront sites has made marinas an increasingly attractive investment. No industry is without challenges. The boat owning customer base is ageing; marinas are focusing on attracting children to boats, offering training and free fun days on the water. The length and cost of marina concessions or leases remains a stumbling block to maintaining or improving many sites; industry is fighting back with the persuasive weaponry of hard facts and figures that prove marinas make significant financial contributions to local markets and employment. The environment is challenged and water quality is a specific focus; marinas are organising community clean-ups and environmental awareness days. Established marina markets in North America, the Caribbean, Europe and the Mediterranean, Australia and New Zealand, for example, are brand conscious, image conscious and eager to welcome the new style of boater where space permits. Trends towards shared ownership, either privately or via boat clubs, and charter are being accommodated – some marinas in Europe are 80% occupied by charter fleets – and berthing for increasingly larger vessels including superyachts and megayachts has become the jewel in many a marina crown. Superyacht berths are in high demand and this trend is set to remain for years to come, attracting customers with high levels of spending power. There is also plenty of growth. While the Middle East focuses on iconic palm tree fringed marina cities, South East Asia is further developing new cruising circuits, with marinas in Indonesia, AUSTRALIA GLOBAL INDUSTRY OVERVIEWS South Korea and Vietnam vying with the established markets of Hong Kong and Singapore, where more berths are now needed. Newer markets take time to Carol Fulford develop but the drive created by increased leisure time, tourism and greater overall wealth is the driving force for marina development and expansion. Boating, above all, gets top PR – and boat owners need berths. As any international boat show calendar reveals, whether it’s Phuket, Chicago, Helsinki, Croatia, Moscow, Shanghai, Gothenburg, Sydney, Taiwan, Colombia, Miami, Genoa, Cannes or one of dozens of other venues, recreational boating continues to attract leisure spend. Carol Fulford Australian marinas continue to show steady and sustained growth as evidenced by independent research undertaken from 2012 to 2017. The Australian Health of the Marina Industry Survey by the Marina Industries Association (MIA) in conjunction with Dr Ed Mahoney from Michigan State University is the most comprehensive study of its kind in the world. With 44% of all marinas responding to the 2017 survey and 25% having participated in all surveys over the Darren Vaux last six years, the survey provides a wealth of information and benchmarks on the state of the industry. Key take-outs include continuing growth in marina revenues year on year, increasing trend on capital investment in marinas, increased investment in environmental initiatives with national marina revenues now exceeding AUD.4 billion and direct employment of over 23,000. Accreditation programmes, such as Gold Anchor, Clean Marinas and Fish Friendly Marinas, are showing strong growth and retention with increased awareness and attributed value from consumers and government agencies alike. There are now 34 Gold Anchor Marinas in Australia and Empire Marina Bobbin Head in Sydney has recently been awarded 5 Gold Anchor Platinum status, the first in Australia. There are 61 marinas currently accredited as Clean Marinas and a further five going through their initial accreditation process. There are 320 marinas and yacht club marinas in Australia. The industry is continuing to see growth in marina-specific education demand and attendance. The MIA’s IMM and AMM accreditation courses are being delivered twice yearly, and specialised courses including MSC operations and emergency preparedness courses are seeing increased demand. There is also a move to deliver more on-line content to attract a wider audience. Attracting young people into the marina industry and the boating industry more generally continues to be a challenge. There are a number of major marina projects either under way or planned around the country, including Shellharbour Marina (greenfield - November/December 2018 27

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