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Aquatic Tourism
The Keane family has opened their Wave Wild Atlantic Virtual Experience located in Dingle Bay. WAVE Dingle is the newest attraction to open in the West Kerry town and promises visitors an immersive adventure through the underwater world like never before
The owners of a former Dingle fish processing plant have received Brexit-related grant aid towards a 1.3 million euro visitor attraction, which recalls the harbour’s famous dolphin, Fungi. The Keane family, owners of Ó Catháin Iasc Teo, have invested over…
Boats moored in Scottish waters
The Scottish Government has confirmed that changes will be made to the proposed Visitor Levy Bill, in a move welcomed by marine tourism stakeholders. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the bill had proposed giving powers to local authorities in Scotland…
County Outdoor Recreation funding was announced by Minister for Rural Affairs Heather Humphreys
Six county outdoor recreation officers are to be appointed as part of a €2 million package of measures to support the development of “County Outdoor Recreation Plans”, Minister for Rural Affairs Heather Humphreys has said. Funding of €1.28 million over…
Doolin Ferry provides scenic voyages along the Cliffs of Moher and trips from Doolin to the Aran Islands
Doolin Ferry, a boat tour operator based in Doolin, Co. Clare, has recently been recognised for their services in the maritime tourism industry. Doolin Ferry offers an extensive range of services, including a seasonal passenger ferry service to the Aran…
The west coast of Ireland is one of the maritime treasures on Europe's Atlantic seaboard
Coastal tourism could be “revolutionised” by a new EU-funded project to improve the digital capabilities of the blue economy on the Atlantic seaboard, the Western Development Commission (WDC) says. The WDC has announced details of the Digital Innovation in the…
Fanad Head Lighthouse in County Donegal is one of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland tourism initiative
Lighthouse tourism in Ireland has significantly increased, with a 60% rise in overnight stays in such facilities throughout the country since 2019, according to the Great Lighthouses of Ireland tourism initiative. Last year, over 622,000 people visited lighthouses and lighthouse…
Lough Ree International King of the Lake Festival 2023 event poster
Lough Ree’s former Pike Classic has a new name and had expanded to the whole of the lake for the first time, as Shannonside News reports. The Lough Ree International King of the Lake Festival will be fished over the…
Carlingford Marina has put together a 'jam-packed' schedule of events called Carlingford Cruising Week that is designed to show off Carlingford Lough
Carlingford Marina in County Lough has put together a 'jam-packed' schedule of events that will take place in the week leading up to this year’s Moneley Oyster Pearl Regatta. This will be the first year of the Carlingford Cruising Week,…
US President Joe Biden with Tánaiste Micheal Martin at St John’s Castle in Carlingford on Wednesday 12 April
Loughs Agency chief executive Sharon McMahon was delighted to see the Carlingford catchment included in US President Joe Biden’s visit to Ireland. Following his arrival in Belfast on Tuesday (11 April), President Biden then travelled across the border into Co…
Be in prime position to photograph boats rounding the rock in the 50th Fastnet Race this summer with Rick Tomlinson
Here’s a rare opportunity to join renowned marine photographer Rick Tomlinson in the field for a special workshop at Fastnet Rock during this summer’s Rolex Fastnet Race. From 23-27 July, four lucky marine photography enthusiasts will join Rick on a…
Spectacular view over Lower Lough Erne in the Fermanagh Lakelands
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has established a new tourism partnership which will work to enhance and strengthen local tourism through the delivery of the Visitor Experience Development Plan (VEDP) for Fermanagh Lakelands, Omagh and the Sperrins. The partnership met…
The River Suck near Ballinasloe
The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland’s (IWAI) engagement with stakeholders to promote tourism on the inland waterways was cited as a key example recently during a Seanad debate on the hospitality sector. Senator Aisling Dolan (Fine Gael) said that the…
A frosty day on the Royal Canal for the launch of Waterways Ireland’s new winter ‘Make a Connection’ campaign
Waterways Ireland, in partnership with four local authorities, has launched a new winter ‘Make a Connection’ campaign to encourage people to ‘go green and blue’ this festive season and enjoy connecting with the outdoor spaces of the Royal Canal Greenway…
A variety of sectors may qualify in seafood; coastal tourism; boat building and repair; marine leisure and sport; renewable energy initiatives, and small non-commercial harbour or pier activities
Businesses within 10 kilometres of Ireland’s coastline can apply for renewable energy grants worth up to 200,000 euro under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme. Funding of €25 million has been provided from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR), a…
The Spirit of Doolin ferry at Cape Clear in West Cork
Having sold two of its vessels - the fast Ferry Dún na Séad II and the Dún Aengus, Cape Clear Ferries in West Cork is buying the Spirit of Doolin from O’Brien’s Ferry Company in Clare. This will replace the…
Belfast Harbour - a grant of €90,000 has been awarded to Cork and Belfast city councils to work together on the project, entitled Cork-Belfast Harbour Cities
Docklands regeneration in Cork and Belfast is one of 25 projects awarded monies under the Shared Island local authority development funding scheme announced by Taoiseach Micheál Martin. A grant of €90,000 has been awarded to Cork and Belfast city councils…

Marine Leisure & Aquatic Tourism

Domestic coastal tourism expenditure was approximately €698 million in 2018, while domestic marine tourism generated €381 million.

Activities such as walking/ running along the coast, swimming and beach visitations are among the most popular activities for domestic visitors on both day and overnight trips.

While participation rates in pursuits such as bird and wildlife watching in coastal areas and visiting nature reserves, etc. in coastal areas were lower, these activities did see the highest frequency of both day and overnight trips for those active in these activities. 

According to the National University of Galway (NUIG) research the average expenditure per coastal day trip in 2018 was calculated at €95. The equivalent for coastal overnight trips was €310. The estimated water-based activity expenditure per person per trip across the sample was €56 rising to €73 for the subsample that actually undertake waterbased activities on their coastal visits. The results also indicate that domestic tourists undertake the majority of their marine activities on the West and South coasts of Ireland and that there are notable differences in participation rates across age groupings, social classes and by family makeup.

A domestic tourist is defined in this report as a person who spends at least one night away from home on their trip. Total expenditure by domestic tourists in coastal areas was estimated to be €698 million in 2018, which represents 35% of the total expenditure by domestic tourists (using the broader Fáilte Ireland measure for domestic tourists that includes business trips equating to 10.92 million in total trips and €2,006 million in total revenue).

The marine-related activity expenditure, or what might truly be referred to as domestic marine tourism, is estimated to generate revenue of €381 million with €172 million being spent on water-based activities. Marine tourism makes up an estimated 19% of total domestic tourism expenditure.

Marine Leisure Tourism - FAQ

Coastal tourism refers to land-based and water-based tourism activities taking place on the coast for which the proximity to the sea is a condition including also their respective services. Coastal and Marine Tourism & Leisure are seen as one of the Blue Economy (BE) sectors that can help unlock the potential of multi-use of space at sea by engaging with Blue Growth (BG) sectors such as Aquaculture and Marine Renewable Energy among others.

Sports: sailing, surfing, diving and fishing Heritage: Unesco coastal villages, archaeological sites of interest, biospheres and historical points of interest Arts: coastal museums, art galleries, museums, wrecks Education: Eco-tourism, field courses, NGOs. Food: Seafood restaurants, Seafood festivals

NUI Galway carried out a survey of domestic residents in Ireland in 2019 as part of a survey entitled "Valuing and understanding the dynamics of Ireland's Ocean Economy". The purpose of the household survey was to profile the domestic market for single-day trips (leisure) and overnight trips (tourism) for coastal and marine-related activities in Ireland. The results of the survey are also used to estimate what proportion of an Irish resident's total domestic tourism expenditure is in coastal areas (coastal tourism) and what proportion is spent on undertaking marine-related activities (marine tourism).

The NUI results highlight the important contribution that Ireland's marine and coastal resources make to the leisure experiences of the general population and the importance of the domestic tourism market to local coastal economies. The analysis indicates that domestic coastal tourism expenditure was approximately €698 million in 2018, while domestic marine tourism generated €381 million. Activities such as walking/ running along the coast, swimming and beach visitations are among the most popular activities for domestic visitors on both day and overnight trips. While participation rates in pursuits such as bird and wildlife watching in coastal areas and visiting nature reserves, etc. in coastal areas were lower, these activities did see the highest frequency of both day and overnight trips for those active in these activities. Satisfaction with the available marine-related leisure facilities was also found to be very high across all activities.

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