The Boating Industry Association Ltd (BIA) today released its 2023 Member Report Card, a statistical summary of priority activities delivered on behalf of members across the nation.

The BIA is the peak industry body in Australia representing recreational boating and light commercial marine operators. As a not-for-profit organisation led by industry for industry, the Association’s mission is to support marine businesses through tailored initiatives including advocating to government, industry-focused programs, products and support services, as well as promoting education, skills and jobs, and participation in boating.

A surge of 58 new businesses have joined the BIA over the year signalling a vote of industry support for the BIA’s laser-focus on strategic priorities.

2023 saw the introduction of the BIA partnership program, with six official partners joining in just over six months across categories ranging from marine parts and accessories, to foreign exchange.

Supporting industry skills and jobs remained a key priority. This work included the launch of the dedicated Boating Industry Academy in January in partnership with the Australian Industry Trade College. A total of 29 students enrolled in the inaugural year, with the Robina campus set to expand in numbers in the new year. Meanwhile BIA is working with AITC to deliver the Boating Industry Academy program through their Redlands campus in 2024.

Further enhancing its commitment to workforce development, the BIA facilitated industry immersions sessions for many hundreds of high school students during the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and Sydney International Boat Show, and an additional 30+ schools groups attending industry briefings across the States. This work was backed up by BIA with representation on numerous government skills reference groups across the nation and supported by ongoing advocacy work direct to State and Federal Governments.

The online recruitment site is delivered in partnership with Marina Industries Association and AIMEX/Superyachts Australia, and has attracted more than 850 job postings and 330,000 job views since its launch in 2021.

Efforts made in the area of skills and jobs culminated at METSTRADE in Amsterdam where Australia was recognised for its multi-layered effort by taking out the People and Skills Development Award at this year’s Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement, jointly organised by IBI.

BIA’s commitment to Safe Marine Business ramped up with the announcement of an accreditation program for Marine Brokers to be rolled out in 2024.

While the BIA Marine Card program, an industry-wide approach to basic Workplace Health and Safety management for the marine sector, is now being used at 45 marine sites, and has 4765 active card holders, 884 of which were inducted in 2023.

BIA’s ongoing commitment to the promotion of the boating lifestyle at the Sydney International Boat Show attracted almost 47,000 visitors, 233 exhibitors and almost 650 vessels on display. While the Discover Boating paid advertising campaign achieved 2.5 million video views and 6.5 million digital impressions.

In addition BIA commissioned, for the first time in the event’s history, an independent economic and social impact report of the 2023 Sydney International Boat Show. The findings revealed the 2023 event delivered a $345M impact on the economy and created 980 jobs.

Other highlights include:

  • Representation on 12 International and 36 State or National external industry committees
  • 30 submissions to heads of departments or Ministers on topics of policy, strategy, planning and/ or legislation
  • 21 technical standards in development
  • 25,000+ people using the national lifejacket website that includes how to find a service agent for your inflatable lifejacket at
  • 100 retail outlets in NSW helping to promote safe, responsible and enjoyable boating
  • 2500+ houseboat experiences via the houseboats bookings website
  • 103 members supported with marine business insurance.

Download the BIA 2023 Report Card here.