Report reveals economic and social impact of WA aquatic industry

27 August 2021
Royal Life Saving, on behalf of the National Aquatic Industry Committee (NAIC), has recently release some eye-opening data from the Social Health and Economic Benefits of the National Aquatic Industry Project which was conducted in partnership with Pricewaterhouse Coopers Australia.

The project aimed to determine how public aquatic facilities are used and what benefits they bring for communities across Australia, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of the aquatic industry, and strengthening advocacy for the continued development of aquatic facilities across the nation.

Nationally the report found that Australia has 2,113 aquatic facilities, with 89% of Australians living within 20 minutes’ drive of an aquatic facility. Aquatic facilities are visited over 333 million times per year, with around five million people either swimming at or using an aquatic facility for aquarobics, hydrotherapy and other aquatic exercise each year. The popularity of swimming is increasing, with participation at a 20 year high.

In Western Australia we have 208 aquatic facilities across our vast state, equivalent to one per 12,800 population. 87% of people are within 20 minutes’ drive of an aquatic facility.

The economic and social value of these facilities is quite astounding, with the report finding that the aquatic industry provides $9.1 billion worth of social economic and health benefits across the nation. Aquatic activities contribute to increased happiness and connection across society, amounting to $3.6 billion worth of social benefits, reduces the burden of disease by benefitting people’s health and well-being to the tune of $2.5 billion and brings in $2.8 billion worth of economic activity each year.

Here in WA these social, health and economic benefits are equally remarkable, with Royal Life Saving in partnership with PWC estimating that the aquatic industry provides $368.6 million in social benefits, $242.4 million is health benefits, and $271.6 million in direct economic benefit each year.

The report shows that moving forward there are no signs of slowing, with 1.4 million people considering starting to swim, more than any other type of physical activity. These findings provide strong evidence for the continued development of the Australian aquatic industry and Royal Life Saving is keen to work with Government and the private sector to ensure this can happen for the benefit of all Australian communities.