In a statement, the BIA said it was supporting “efforts by government in controlling the current COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney which is now impacting other States” and the Sydney Festival of Boating was therefore cancelled.
The BIA Board today held an extraordinary meeting to consider the latest information from government affecting the Sydney event and determined cancellation was the appropriate decision at this time.
BIA President Darren Vaux said the decision was made more difficult because the Sydney Festival of Boating was sold-out regarding exhibition space and was oversubscribed for the event marina.
“The BIA believed the responsible action was to weigh up the facts, liaise with stakeholders such as our members, government and the venue partner, the International Convention Centre, and to make a decision this week,” Vaux said.
“Cancelling the event supports government efforts to get the current outbreak of COVID-19 and its highly-contagious Delta variant under control.
“ It also recognises the likely challenges that our local and interstate members and exhibitors will encounter over the coming weeks.
“Our priority was to deliver a celebration of the boating lifestyle and to do so in a COVID Safe way for our members, suppliers, exhibitors and public. It was a difficult decision to cancel the event, especially as there was such strong industry support.”
Vaux said the BIA would now focus its attention on promoting the boating lifestyle.
Boating has proven to be a standout choice in leisure activity through the pandemic. The combination of no international travel, the staycation phenomenon, flexible work practices and the need to be COVID Safe have seen interest in getting out the water ramp up significantly.
In January 2021, the BIA announced a new-format COVID Safe Sydney Show from 29 July at the International Convention Centre & Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour and the Brisbane Boat Show at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from 20 August, but decided to holdover the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show and Adelaide Boat Show until 2022.