The Boating Industry Association Board today discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the boating industry and the 2020 BIA boat show circuit.
The Board considered a range of factors with the prosperity of our members and the protection and recovery of our industry the top priority.
The Board discussed the recent government limitations on events including the National Cabinet declaration today that non-essential indoor gatherings of greater than 100 people (including staff) will no longer be permitted from Wednesday 18 March 2020.
The rapidly evolving situation means further restrictions regarding the gathering and movement of people are possible. At the same time the duration of these restrictions is unclear and that will depend on the success of the measures being used.
The Board agreed to proceed as follows:
- Cancel the 2020 Rosehill Boat Show planned for 4-5 April with a full refund of deposits to exhibitors due to the government’s current ban on events of 500 people or more
- Postpone the 2020 Adelaide Boat Show planned for late June to tentative dates at the end of September, subject to ongoing monitoring of further developments regarding COVID-19 and consultation with the local membership
- Continue planning for the 2020 Sydney Boat Show scheduled for the end of July with a final decision to proceed with the show, subject to government advice and member feedback, to be made on 31 May. The format of the Sydney Boat Show will be reviewed to explore all opportunities to support the industry in these unusual and uncertain times including an option to accommodate used boats
- Continuing planning for the 2020 Brisbane Boat Show planned for 21-23 August with a final decision to proceed with the show, subject to government advice and member feedback, to be made on 30 June.
Deferring the final decisions for proceeding with both the Sydney and Brisbane Shows was based on careful analysis of the last dates for key decisions and financial commitments in delivering these shows. These boat shows are important to the prosperity of the boating industry and the Board has sought to fully prepare for the possibility that COVID-19 countermeasures by the Federal and State governments are successful and may create the opportunity for these shows to proceed.
With the government requirements for social distancing and increasing restrictions on indoor activities, Australians need other options. Boating provides the perfect escape for individuals, families and friends to get away and enjoy a healthy reconnection to nature. Now more than ever, the Australian community needs the relaxation, peace and fun that a day out on the water in a boat delivers.
The BIA will develop a new and comprehensive digital campaign to promote the boating lifestyle, boating tourism and activities to support boating businesses in metropolitan and regional communities. This campaign will support our recovery through into 2021.