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Aquatic Tourism
Tourism Minister Catherine Martin TD (left) pictured at Killiney Beach with Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly and Cllr Una Power, Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
Funding of €19 million will be used to build “world-class” facilities at 22 locations across the country where water-based activities are a key visitor attraction. Tourism Minister Catherine Martin and Fáilte Ireland today (Thursday 15 April) launched the investment to…
Kilmore quay harbour in County Wexford is home to the largest charter boat fleet of any port in Ireland. Kilmore Quay's licensed charter boat fleet brings an estimated 10,000 tourists out to sea on trips and cruises around the Saltee Islands, including landings on the Islands, eco trips, angling, whale and dolphin trips
Charter boat skippers have warned the Government they will go out of business if Fáilte Ireland continues to exclude them from Covid-19 related supports offered to the tourism sector. As The Times Ireland edition reports today, at least 100 boats…
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys made the announcement on Monday 22 March
Development of a blueway along the Wicklow and Wexford coasts and improved access at a number of angling locations throughout the country are among 14 large-scale projects to benefit from an investment of more than €6 million in adventure tourism. Minister…
River Shannon Cruising in County Leitrim
Remote and “tranquil” cabin cruiser moorings, kayak trails, canal walks and greenways form part of a €76.5 million tourism plan for the river Shannon published today. As Times.ie reports today, the ten-year masterplan is the first such “whole river” approach…
New €55m Grant Scheme Could Support Marine Tourism Businesses
Marine tourism businesses will be among those eligible to apply for grants of up to €200,000 under a new scheme to help the sector ‘survive to thrive’ during the coronavirus pandemic. As TheJournal.ie reports, the €55m Tourism Business Continuity Scheme…
Support Scheme for Scottish Marine Tourism Businesses Opens for Applications Next Week
A £2.5m fund to help marine tourism businesses in Scotland restart operations in 2021 will be open for applications from next week, according to Marine Industry News. The Marine and Outdoor Tourism Restart Fund is part of an overall £104.3m…
EBI and ICOMIA have a high overlap in their European membership
European Boating Industry (EBI) and ICOMIA have entered a new partnership with mutual benefits for both EBI and ICOMIA members and an increased focus on the further development of nautical tourism. European Boating Industry (EBI) represents the European recreational boating…
Dingle Harbour in Co Kerry
Efforts to drive tourism in the Dingle Peninsula may be doing more harm than good, according to a newly published report. As the Irish Independent reports, the Fáilte Ireland Visitor Experience Development Plan — which was completed before the disappearance…
Scottish Sailing Tourism to Get a Boost from Restart Funding Scheme
Scotland’s struggling aquatic tourism sector is set to be boosted by a £2.5m pandemic support package from the devolved government, as Marine Industry News reports. Sail Scotland and Wild Scotland have secured the £2.5m restart grant scheme aimed at supporting…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay is Ireland's largest boating centre with capacity for over 800 boats in the town marina
The "sleeping giant" of the marine sector is how the marine tourism and leisure sector has been described. It may well be, despite how hard the Covid pandemic has hit it this year. The last socio-economic study of "Ireland's Ocean…
The tail of a humpback whale, HBIRL55, spotted off Co Kerry earlier this year
Fáilte Ireland says it plans to capitalise on huge interest in dolphin and whale watching in Ireland in its future tourism marketing plans. The organisation’s chief executive Paul Kelly made the commitment as he addressed the Oireachtas Committee on Tourism…
Lleidi reservoir - the site is expected to attract 90k+ visitors a year
The recent announcement of the development of the Swiss Valley reservoirs in Carmarthenshire in Wales has been given a boost with the confirmation of an ‘Access to Water’ grant from Welsh Government, worth £121k, that will enable visitor access to…
File image of a surfer at Brims Ness near Thurso in the Scottish Highlands
Scotland’s vast potential for sailing and adventure tourism post-Covid-19 is the focus of a new webinar series next week. Marine Industry News reports on the online inaugural Adventure Tourism Week, an initiative of VisitScotland, Wild Scotland and Sail Scotland. The…
A Viking Splash tour amphibious vehicle 'Duk' sails around Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock (as above in Afloat 's photo) with the backdrop of the 'Docklands' quarter.
Operator Viking Splash Tours faces liquidation later this month but its owners hope buyers will offer the business a lifeline. The amphibious-vehicle tour of Dublin, which culminates in a trip on the Grand Canal Basin in the 'docklands', has not…
Graham Johnston and son Hugo explore the sea science gallery at Galway City Museum at its opening in 2017
Galway City Museum, which hosts Ireland’s first marine science gallery, has been recognised as a Top Tourist Attraction in Tripadvisor’s 2020 Travellers Choice Awards. The annual awards are based on a full year of TripAdvisor reviews, ratings and comments for…
EU Advisory Body Calls for Recovery Measures for Boating & Nautical Tourism
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), an official advisory body of the European Union, published its opinion on Transport and Tourism in 2020 and beyond. It recommends policy measures to help the boating and nautical tourism sector in its…

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.

©Afloat 2020

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