The Boating Ontario Association (Boating Ontario), Penetanguishene, Ontario, has released the results of a comprehensive boater survey to develop a better understanding of the state of recreational boating in the province of Ontario.
The survey provides new information on boating characteristics, trip frequency, favourite boating destinations experiences with Ontario's canals waterways and future boat buying intentions on the part of more than 2,500 respondents to the online survey.
"This first-of-its-kind survey conducted by Boating Ontario has provided us with some very valuable information,' explains Janet Bauer, the association's Chief Executive Officer. "Understanding the trends of recreational boaters is key to providing them with quality product and services. Over the next couple of years, we will be working with industry and community partners to implement new and exciting promotional programs'
Survey participants provided feedback suggesting that recreational boating is associated with short trips, usually on weekends and occurring close to one's home.
Enjoying the scenic beauty of Ontario's landscape is an important part of the overall boating experience. Water and navigational conditions, and distance to the next port of call often influence venturing further along Ontario's waterways, while weather conditions (especially storm warnings) influence frequency of boating.
Results suggest that the recreational boating sector in Ontario is healthy.
"The good news is that 14 percent of respondents plan to buy a new or used boat in the next year while 46 percent of boat owners plan to increase the number of boat trips they take in the next two years,' Bauer continued. "The data also indicates that boaters appear to be skewing younger with respondents most likely to increase their boating activities aged 18 to 44.'
Recreational boating in Canada represents a $9 billion economic impact to the country. The industry has over 67,000 employees, represents wages and salaries of $2.6 billion and pays taxes of $775 million per year. Ontario represents over 40 percent of this total. Many small communities in Ontario depend upon recreational boating for a large percentage of their livelihood.