The Boating Industry Association Ltd (BIA) has been operating since the 1960s and not long after foundation, the BIA wrote and documented its purpose, and created the constitution. Throughout the years parts of the Constitution have been re-developed and we are currently working on a re-fresh as a result of recent AGMs. We are doing this to remain relevant to members without changing the ’spirit’ of the original foundation document written all those years ago.

In simple terms, we support our members by focusing on the “promotion of recreational boating”!

The objectives of the Constitution are as follows:

The objectives of BIA are to protect, to promote, to enhance and to advance the prosperity and interests of the boating industry, and to maintain and to grow participation in boating through the promotion of safe, sustainable, accessible and responsible boating and boating lifestyles and related rights and interests.

BIA pursues these Objects through:

  • promoting the benefits of boating and the boating industry;
  • facilitating awareness, understanding and interest, desire and appreciation of the boating lifestyle and boating products and services within the general community by conducting events and other promotional activities;
  • representing, advocating, defending, protecting and furthering the interests of the boating industry and boaters through promoting improvements to access to waterways, facilities, infrastructure, regulations and legislation relevant to the boating industry through working with government, marine organisations and other interested parties;
  • working with appropriate organisations, authorities and government to improve outcomes in relation to boating safety and environmental protection of waterways;
  • working with members in continuing professional development and creating career pathways for individuals to enter the boating industry;
  • working with organisations with similar interests.

The Team at BIA have referred to the above when drafting the current Strategic Business Plan which features four Key Priorities which are as follows:

  • Grow Participation in Boating​
  • Deliver Government Advocacy​
  • Deliver Industry-Focused Programs, Products and Services​
  • Promote Education, Skills and Jobs

For today’s eNews column I will focus on key priority #1 Grow Participation in Boating, and particularly our Discover Boating campaign.

As our No.1 priority, the promotion of recreational boating is managed via our Discover Boating brand. The key focus with this brand, is to engage with the existing, the lapsed and the new or emerging boating public. We do this via multiple channels of communication, including;

  • Social Media (ongoing)
  • Media releases (ongoing)
  • Advertising including print, radio, the web and television
  • Publications such as eNews, Discover Boating newsletter and Logbook
  • Events such as the Sydney International Boat Show

The Discover Boating recent statistics include;

10,000 Facebook and Instagram followers
41,500 newsletter recipients, with an open rate of 42 per cent

  • 3 month Summer Campaign
  • 15,350 web site visitors
  • 5,076,600 TV campaign viewers

TV campaign results, with 1499 ‘ad spots’ with Commercial TV stations delivering:

  • Sydney, 1,873,300 viewers
  • Brisbane, 1,923,900 viewers
  • Adelaide, 1,279,400 viewers

In 2024 / 2025 campaign will be a more National effort by also reaching Victoria and WA.

Digital Campaign results;

  • 4,830,488 impressions on social channels
  • 2,981,188 video views
  • 15,350 web views
  • 1,072,958 watched 100 per cent of the campaign video

The BIA Discover Boating campaign leads the public to our campaign website.

Designed for boaters of all levels – from children and newcomers right through to old salts – our aim is to cover just about everything there is to know about recreational boating, and to encourage people to make boating a priority leisure activity across the country. 

Our website and the communications are sent to our databases and are focussed on the following: 

  • Reasons to go boating, boat buyer guides, licensing and boating education, boat hire and share group ownership, houseboating to boating safety, first time boating tips, planning your boating adventures, anchoring, docking, driving a boat and much more. The site has a host of information for all, across paddle, power and sail, and is all about inspiring people to choose boating as their recreational activity. 
  • It helps to draw attention to the boating lifestyle and that includes careers in the marine sector. In this way, Discover Boating helps to support members across the board from manufacturers to retailers and from suppliers to marinas to name just a few of BIA’s wide membership base.  
  • Promoting participation builds demand for products and services, and for development opportunities across all forms of marine infrastructure from moorings to marinas and from slipways to boat ramps.  


The BIA Sydney International Boat Show is without doubt a significant driver for promoting boating. Some of the figures from the 2023 event are:

  • 48,000 Show visitors in 2023 with numbers growing
  • A large contingent of the public accessing the non-ticketed spaces at Darling Harbour during the Show
  • $345,000,000 in total economic output.

I am proud of the Team’s promotional efforts on behalf of members and we work hard to invest BIA funds wisely whilst seeking to make the biggest impact in what is a competitive market for the leisure dollar.

It is the Shows like, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, which attract significant numbers of the public to experience the boating lifestyle and what it can offer to people of all ages, genders, abilities and budgets.

The BIA Shows are Sydney in August, Perth in September and Melbourne in October. Each event provides an excellent opportunity for the public to experience boating and that includes provision of promotions in non-ticketed areas where people can enjoy nearby hospitality in and around the shows.

The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, starting 23 May 2024, is a significant promotion of boating and a great spectacle, and attracts significant attendance numbers.

It is also worth acknowledging AIMEX for staging the AIMEX Garden which is a valuable industry networking event held at Sanctuary Cove. Whilst the MIA must be acknowledged for a similar industry opportunity created at Marinas24.

With World Boating Day, being held on 25 and 26 May 2024, we encourage all members and the boating public to share boating photos in social media with the hashtag #worldboatingday and let us push the benefits of boating.

On behalf of the BIA, I wish all exhibitors and industry members every success for the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, the ASMEX Conference, Marinas 24 Conference and the forthcoming BIA shows. These are all fantastic industry events helping to stimulate the boating sector.

As for Discover Boating we plan to build on that program and you can expect more exciting news on this in the upcoming months.

See you on the water.

Andrew Scott, CEO