Different industries impact various communities both positively and negatively. The marine industry and boats have significant impacts on locations with mass amounts of marine sector businesses and activities. According to a 2014 study completed for the Marine Industries Association of South Florida showed that the economic impact in Palm Beach County was almost $2 billion USD. In 2012, recreational saltwater boating contributed $3.5 billion USD to the Northeast’s economy and supported around 27,000 jobs. Many tourist destinations, like Antigua and Barbuda, rely on tourism to help stimulate the economy– and a majority of their tourism revolves around beaches and bodies of water. Clearly, the boating industry is important to the communities around it. But why?
The influence of the marine industry in certain regions is massive. Boats have been a method of both business and leisure since the 1700’s. Not only does boating play a huge part as a method of business transportation, but also as a means of travel. Hundreds of thousands of boats are built, bought, and traded each year for a variety of reasons, and it is clear that the marine industry has a wide reach that is fairly successful. The impacts of boats on surrounding communities is likely due to this long running success.
Whether people are taking a chartered boat tour, visiting with a friend, or just testing the waters, boating brings people places. Tourism has been proven to be beneficial for cities and towns people stop at. Tourists bring money to local businesses, it can help create jobs via a multiplier effect, and can generate extra tax revenues which flows back into local and public services. Tourism also encourages the preservation of traditions, festivals, and natural resources- creating positive social effects.
The boating industry has been adapting to the clean boating movement, especially since a majority of communities and new seafarers are more environmentally conscious. As a result, the marine industry is churning out and creating positive and innovative technologies to combat environmental damage caused by boats, therefore changing the industry. Furthermore, in general, a majority of boaters follow CBA guidelines, aimed at preventing harm to the environment and the spread of non native species.
The boating industry has grown dramatically. The influence the marine industry has on the economy, tourism, and the environment creates a significant impact on communities surrounded by water and aquatic activities. While some of these impacts can be negative, many can be positive impacts.