Placing its faith and its fortunes in the hands of the weather, helped along by investment innovative marketing, events and initiatives, the BIA of NSW is looking forward to a 'reasonable summer' to drive boating.
'By all reports, it’s going to be a warm summer, ' says Domenic Genua, BIA marketing and events manager, 'So that’s great. We had a poor summer last year and it was telling. The industry needs blue skies that will inspire people to get out and get boating.'
Registrations in NSW fell around 6 or 7 %, according to Genua, down approximately 11,000 year on year. 'There is a decrease in consumption and we have to be realistic and understand that things probably won’t ever go back to 2003-2005 levels. But recreational boating is resilient and its full of smart, well-blooded professionals who will ride it through.'
Genua says the trades in the industry, such as shipwrights, and mechanics, are all busy. 'There seems to be a lot of work out there at that level.'
Summer, he adds, is not actually the busiest boating season in Australia. 'No, our research shows people do more boating in winter, autumn and spring, maybe because there are so many commitments at this time of year?'
After a short break over Christmas, the BIA will return with renewed focus on promoting the boating lifestyle. 'We will be working very hard in 2013 with refined budgets, making sure we’re very savvy how we spend our dollars, to continue the communication momentum about lifestyle.'
He refers to the partnership with Seven’s 'Sydney Weekender' program, especially in the lead up to summer. 'We will continue to bring viewers the various ways of getting in to boating – not selling them horsepower or boat brands, but the amazing array of activities and leisure options that are out there, whatever your budget or your preference.'
Crucial to sowing the seeds and disseminating information is the MyBoatingLife website, which will move in to its second phase in 2013. The concept was launched at the Sydney International Boat Show in August, rolling out nationally and supported by each state with consumer campaigns to get the message out and drive people online.
'We have had four to five months of feedback from the public which tells us we are hitting the nail on the head, but they have also made some comments and we are taking those onboard to adjust the site.'
Changes include tweaking the dashboard on the home page, listing fuel locations and adding mobile integration for some of the functions.
'We are also focusing on Twitter, Facebook and an e-newsletter which are all about building a community and creating a buzz around the boating lifestyle,' says Genua.
Also on the calendar for 2013 are the Rosehill Gardens Boat Show mid-March and the Sydney International Boat Show 1 to 5 August.
More at www.bia.org.au