NEWS – SIBS says boating industry confidence up

NEWS - SIBS says boating industry confidence up

The 2009 Sydney International Boat Show closed on a high after surpassing last year’s attendance levels with one day less trading, said the event’s owner. 

Roy Privett, general manager for the Boating Industry Association (BIA) of NSW which own and run the show, said almost 72,000 people attended the five-day event, a one per cent increase on the previous year.

“The boating industry was pleasantly surprised and delighted with the attendance figures considering the tough economic times,” Privett said.

“One thousand more people attended the show this year in a sign the recession may have turned a corner.

“During difficult economic times, we say as an industry that recreational boating is the first to feel the pain and the last to see the good times at the end. Visitors to this year’s show not only arrived in a positive state of mind, but also showed it by opening their wallets,” said Privett.

Industry members, he continued, were buoyant about the level of interest and sales generated by the annual show staged at Darling Harbour, with Bill Barry-Cotter, managing director of Maritimo, claiming it was like “somebody had turned the lights on”.

“The show was also a great success in building partnerships, not only in boating, but in promoting safe and responsible boating,” said Privett.

“Our aim is always to encourage newcomers to boating and to support existing boaters. This can be done in a way that supports the industry, but also supports our safety partners like NSW Maritime.

“Increased participation in boating is important and the signs are good, but it is also about working to ensure people go boating in a safe way because that will help make any day out on the water more enjoyable,“ Privett said.

The education effort, he said, would continue in the run-up to the start of the next boating season which begins with the October Long Weekend (3 to 5).

The BIA said exhibitors across most market segments reported high levels of interest and purchases across most segments of recreational boating. While the fishing sector remained strong, the organisation said it was evident that families were embracing recreational boating as a means of bringing the family together.