NEWS - Marina 2009 International Conference and Exhibition a Winner!

NEWS - Marina 2009 International Conference and Exhibition a Winner!

Marinas 2009 Committee Chairman Mike Harvey said he was delighted with the participation and outcomes from the event. “Feedback indicates a high level of satisfaction from both delegates and exhibitors. The conference program hit the mark with a focus on improving productivity in tough times. Community and government engagement and environmental best practice were also strong themes. Exhibitors reported excellent lead generation and some reported very strong sales. Marine Technologies for example sold eight marina fire carts each valued at over $6,000”.

Jim Frye, President of the Association of Marina Industries in the US and a keynote speaker at the conference congratulated the Marinas Industries Association of Australia (MIAA) on presenting a world-class event. “We can learn from Australia in putting together such a comprehensive program that clearly met the needs of both exhibitors and delegates”.

A number of industry launches were conducted at Marinas 2009. These included the launch of the International Gold Anchor Rating Scheme for marinas. This new initiative is similar to star rating for accommodation. Gold Anchor will assist marinas to market and position their marina at a level appropriate for their market place and for marina users to select marinas that match their price and service expectations. Executive Officer of MIAA Colin Bransgrove said he was very pleased with the industries response to Gold Anchor. “Seven marinas in three states signed up to participation and we expect many more to come on board in the near future”.

Another important announcement was the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research’s commitment to provide funding support to MIAA’s Australian Marina's Value Study. This study will gather and analyse data on an ongoing annual basis to fill the current data gap in marine statistics. The Australian Government recognises the importance of reliable statistics for use by industry and Government to underpin analysis for future industry planning and policy development.

Winners of the Marina of the Year were also announced during the three-day event. The 2009 winner of the 85 berths and over marina category is Empire Marina Bobbin Head Marina (pictured above), located within the Ku-ring-gai National Park in NSW. The winner of the under 85-berth category is Fenwicks Marina on the Hawkesbury River in NSW. Finalists from QLD, NSW, Victoria and WA were also acknowledged.

In summing up Marinas 2009 the master of ceremonies MIAA Director Ian McAndrew said the prevailing mood of the event was one of determination and optimism going forward. “While a U-shaped economic recovery was the general consensus from the conference it was agreed marinas are well placed to weather the financial storm. Innovative developments with marina planning, design and operations; increasing provision of public amenity and a strong focus on environmental leadership were widely discussed and analysed. Marinas have an increasingly important position within communities as conduits to recreational boating and the wider communities interface with a healthy marine environment”.