The Marina Industries Association is pleased to announce the first marinas to receive their star ratings based on the International Gold Anchor rating system launched in Australia in 2009.
The three-to-five star rating system is designed to suit the Asia Pacific region in consultation with marinas and end users by the Marina Industries Association of Australia. The Gold Anchor programme is designed to provide boat owners and marina users with a simple way to determine which marinas best fit their needs via a quick and easy reference system similar to the hotel association’s star rating scheme.
Marinas currently utilising the new rating system are independently assessed against specialised points-based criteria covering more than 96 different elements of marina facilities and services. Once a rating has been assigned to a marina it is subject to mystery shopper checks over the following three-year rating period to ensure the integrity of the system remains.
The consumer-based criteria include essential items for each of the five levels of ratings and in numerous cases has resulted in upgrades to existing marina facilities to improve their rating.
“Two marinas have undertaken to install a sewerage pump-out facility while others have improved the provision of trolleys for users. These examples of improvement can only be of benefit to end users as existing facilities are re-evaluated and improved upon to meet the criteria,” according to Colin Bransgrove, Executive Officer of the MIAA.
The rating criteria covers nine key areas relevant to consumers including marina design, infrastructure and condition, services offered, environmental considerations, land facilities, food and beverage facilities, local attractions, enquiry processes, booking process/simplicity and marketing.
The first marinas to roll out of the new rating system are the Royal Motor Yacht Club in Pittwater NSW, Yaringa Boat Harbour in Western Port Bay Vic, Port Geographe Marina Busselton WA, Empire Marina Bobbin Head NSW, Soldiers Point Marina and Anchorage Marina both located in Port Stephens NSW, Sandringham Yacht Club Vic and Marina YE situated in Melbourne Vic.
Over the coming weeks each marina will launch their new rating to their members, local market and nationwide broadcast and print media. Of particular use for consumers will be the website, www.goldanchor.net which will house details on the scheme and a directory of Gold Anchor marinas.