Tri-County Marine Industry Growth Charted November 12, 2014

Over the past four fiscal years from 2010 to 2014 a consistent turnaround in the marine industry has occurred in the Tri County (Broward, Dade and Palm Beach) area and throughout Florida. The overall increase in marine related sales in Broward County was 21.9%, Dade 30.5%, and Palm Beach 101.2% over the period. Taken as a region, Tri County marine industry sales grew an estimated 36.3% between 2010 and 2014. Statewide, gross marine sales grew by 31.3%.

“Our geographical location not only makes us an excellent place to visit and do business, we also have world class facilities with boatyards and services to cater to vessels of all sizes for owners and crew around the globe,” said Phil Purcell, MIASF executive director. “The South Florida region has become ‘The International Marine Hub to the World’ by servicing the international marine industry.”

In the same period, the Tri County marine industry grew in annual estimated economic impact to $11.5 billion in gross output – an increase of $2.6 billion from $8.9 billion in 2010 – including $4.0 billion in wages and earnings, up from $3.0 billion in 2010, and an associated 136,000 jobs generated compared to 107,000 in 2010.

These are the key findings from the new study, “Economic Impact of the Recreational Marine Industry in Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach Counties – Florida” completed by Thomas J. Murray & Associates for MIASF and greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. The report was presented at the beginning of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, October 30.

For comparison, the Tri County total marine economic impact is greater than that of the total for California, the second-largest state for recreational boating business, following Florida, in the U.S. California’s marine economic impact is estimated at $8.9 billion; California measures approximately 72,000 direct, indirect and induced marine jobs (data from the 2012 Recreational Boating Economic Study, National Marine Manufacturers Association, latest available figures).

Research underscores the economic importance of the marine industry to Southeast Florida, the balance of the state and even offshore. The local marine industry is of equal size to tourism in Fort Lauderdale, five times larger than cruises based in Broward and on par with citrus statewide.

The marine industry growth has come despite reduced boat registrations over the same period, a likely result of challenges faced by consumers following the Great Recession and real estate complications in Florida. In 2010, registered boats in the state numbered close to 902,000, declining to 865,000 in 2013 (latest available figures). Over the same time frame, spending per boat increased from $3,757 to $4,770.

During the most recently completed fiscal year (ending June, 2014), Broward County contributed nearly $1.5 billion in sales for this sector, Dade County contributed $332,397,708, and Palm Beach County reported $586,317,556. The Tri-county area represented 51% ($2.383 billion) of Florida’s gross marine sales during the 2014 fiscal year. For 2014, gross retail sales of boat and motor products equaled $4.675 billion statewide – up from $3.561 billion in 2010.

In terms of economic impact, jobs and earnings, the 2014 report for the Tri County area shows marine retail trade as the largest segment, accounting for $4.2 billion in total output, close to 43,000 jobs and total earnings of $1.7 billion. Marine services follows with $2.3 billion in total output, 30,000 jobs and total earnings of $747 million. The marine wholesale trade sector measures nearly $2 billion in total output, 23,000 jobs and total earnings of $674 million. Marine manufacturing represents $1.8 billion in total output, 26,000 jobs and total earnings of $466 million. Dockage services shows $1.3 billion in total output, 14,000 jobs and total earnings of $439 million.

Download Full Report: Economic Impact of the Recreational Marine Industry Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach Counties, Florida – 2014.


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Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 221 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Phone: 954.524.2733